In both her designs and Fashion Week presentation, British-Canadian designer Edeline Lee explores the notion of femininity, investigating contemporary female lifestyle and the numerous roles played by women daily. This collection builds on her previous work, focusing specifically on the feminine exterior façade rather than the mentality of being a woman.
The performance began with the models cascading down the centre of the performance space which, despite being bright white, seemed to resemble a quiet Parisian street. Yet on odd, sudden occasions, a thunder boom would break the serene atmosphere and as the storm brewed, the models looked progressively weary and confused, stereotypically vulnerable to the raging storms ahead.
After the final thunder boom, the scene changed entirely into an A-Lister red carpet arrival, then into a runway show and finally into a fashion week afterparty. What the tumultuous weather reflected is how this collection is actually a powerful break-away from the outdated over-reading and critiquing of the female persona. The woman became the thunder, the focus and the most powerful element for the remainder of the presentation.
Edeline Lee commented:
‘As a designer, I view myself to be in service to women, giving them tools to construct and express their identities to the outside world…all women can relate to the feeling of assuming diverse identities for different moments in their lives. Similarly, the fashion system has parallels to a woman’s journey – fashion is a playground for experimentation with performance and identity. These were my starting points when writing the treatment for this season’s presentation.’
On the production side of things, the models were joined by amazing dancers whose choreography paid homage to the revolutionary work of Pina Bausch and Trajal Harrell. The soundtrack was all-female 50s swing, and this continued in the hazy lighting reminiscent of mid-century photography.
Speaking of the Fifties, the clothing and the silhouettes encapsulated the glamourous feminine air that is synonymous with the era. Lee has used her signature fabrics in shades of scarlet, mustard, brown and ivory to maintain a timeless aesthetic. She has also used ruching and ruffles to create structure as well as add decorative elements to her rather precise, clean garments that are subtly accessorised with co-ordinating buttons, buckles and gold metalwork. Every aspect in the creation of her ready-to-wear pieces has considered forming a fun and feminine wardrobe.
So, it comes as no surprise that since launching her brand in 2013, Lee’s clothing has been worn by a host of incredible women, such as Alicia Vikander, Karen Elson, Cynthia Nixon and Solange Knowles. They undoubtedly are impressed with Lee’s beautiful craftsmanship and sophisticated aesthetic, but most of all, her thoughtful approach to fashion. This is exemplified in how her SS19 collection was dedicated to Mark Sebba, the former Net-a-Porter CEO who passed away earlier this year.
A brilliant presentation, inspirational clothes, and a beautiful message – what do you think of Edeline Lee’s latest sartorial offering?
Text: Natalie Zannikos
Images: Abigail Jane Winterford, Benjamin Tietge, IMAXTREE.COM