Thursday, May 19, 2016

Edeline Lee // Fall 2016 //

“A return to simplicity,” was Edeline Lee’s mission statement for fall 2016. The Canadian-born, London-based designer was compelled to “simplify, pull back, minimise, declutter, underexpose, eat cleaner food, air out inboxes, stop keeping up with the Joneses, turn off [her] iPhone and go off the grid.” Frankly, she wants this wholesome, fulfilling, experiential lifestyle for all of us. You can’t blame her. Technology dominates our lives. Everyday companies are finding new ways to incorporate it into our lives. It’s becoming more and more difficult to take a breather from it which, as great as it is, is necessary. Lee applied the above statement to her design process this season; removing colour-blocking from her line-up, opting to focus on clean lines and purer shapes. The result was tremendous, but it took me a while to warm to the collection—perhaps because she discounted her signature. Generally, I can leave a presentation with a strong feeling of like or dislike, but this one veered into dangerous territory of indifference. Months later, revisiting the collection, I realised the importance of stripping back aesthetics and refocusing. It allows for a designer to explore different avenues, and to disprove naysayers that may claim a designer to be one thing. It’s akin to stepping away from technology: it’s sorely missed, but ultimately, beneficial.
Simplifying her work equated to exploring fluid shapes. There were unstructured wool coats, edged with contrasting 3-D dimensional piping. Distorted floral imagery was printed on a dress, that was in a shape entirely different to everything Lee designed heretofore. Always inspired by minimalism pertaining to shapes, the subtraction of colour worked wonders for a number of looks. It allowed time to appreciate cut and shape. Illusion panelling on dresses was another addition to her repertoire.

Hosted at the Vinyl Factory, Lee’s presentation was designed by Switzerland-based artist Kyung Roh Bannwart, who created an “abstract landscape.” Black and white panels contrasted the shredded paper mounds dotted around the space. Models stood near and far, playing to the idea of an optical illusion, which could be seen in the collection. The art crowd are staunch supporters of Lee’s work, given her “sophisticated” aesthetic. This collection, styled primarily with black boots, may begin to attract a slightly different customer. However so, they’ll be taken by functional, utilitarian outerwear. 

Lee has pulled back the blinds, so to speak, and exposed us to her true strengths.
All images are my own

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