The Elms Lesters Painting Rooms is a 111-year-old building in London. On Flitcroft Street, near Covent Garden, Soho and Bloomsbury, the Edwardian painting studio “once supplied to all the West End theatres with their scenic backgrounds”. Fashion PR agency The Wolves took over the building for three days during London Fashion Week, to bring us the Elms Lesters Presentations. Some of the Wolves clients were given the chance to take over the building for unique installations. The first one that I saw was Edeline Lee—a designer who I’ve previously seen in a subterranean wing in King’s College, last year.
For Spring, Lee looked to a series of work by Richard Diebenkorn: Ocean Park. Lee “studied his method of composition, his sense of proportion, his wonderful sense of light and juxtapositions of colour.” The body of work that is Ocean Park is quite beautiful. There are subdued colours mixed with brighter pops, and reflections of light. Abstract lines decorate the pieces and that was resonant with Lee’s collection. Factor in the Memphis Group and you have a hyper coloured array of breezy summer staples “that [made Lee] think of a summer’s day driving along Highway One and the mythical Californian coastline.”
After climbing the steep and winding stairs in the painting rooms, the Kyung Roh Bannwart-designed scenography captures your attention. There was postmodernist art decorating the set, models posing, real-life models in this artistic exhibition. In the back of one room, a blond model stood, poised, wearing a white, floor-sweeping shirt-dress. Punchy pops of coral, turquoise and yellow livened the look. Sharp black lines added definition to the look. One model’s two-tone sleeveless blouse in a sickly sweet chartreuse featured a contrasting white panel, the product of Lee’s experimentalism. The colour-blocking study continued in the rest of the collection. Black against white against chartreuse. Turquoise against black and white. It was all charming.
A saccharine colour study, dabbling with new silhouettes, this Spring 2016 collection will undoubtedly bring a smile to your face.
All photos are my own