In a continuation of her exploration of “the future lady” and what it means to be a strong, courageous woman, Edeline Lee drew inspiration from the work of Georgia O’Keeffe for her Spring/Summer 18 presentation. Lee had travelled to New Mexico; encountering the landscapes that inspired much of O’Keeffe’s work and felt compelled to examine the idea of the feminine courage that led O’Keeffe to find her place in the world amongst the mountains of the New Mexico desert.
Lee stated that she “wanted to connect to the vulnerability and the strength at the core of every woman.”
So what does it look like to be a strong woman of today? Lee explores female courage and strength whilst pertaining to traditionally feminine silhouettes. In exploring female strength there can be a tendency amongst designers to veer toward more masculine tailoring, harsh shapes, dark colours and tough fabrics (think 80s power dressing). However, Lee’s focus is on traditional feminine shapes, soft colours and fabrics.
Dresses came in her signature flou bubble jacquard in blush, cerulean blue, nude and ivory. Cotton voile was embroidered with chain-stitched sentences from O’Keeffe’s letters such as, “I feel like myself again and I like it.” Sublimely elegant tailoring was accentuated with twists, ties and knots. Abstract shapes inspired by O’Keeffe’s iconic flowers were juxtaposed against smooth feminine lines. Lee’s signature extreme long length sleeves featured on grey jersey sweatshirts and cotton pieces with stand-out buttons.
As a collection that aims to represent women the presentation can be criticised for not featuring a range of body shapes. However, included were several looks with models in hijabs, showcasing an excellent example of how modest fashion can be incorporated into high fashion - and for this statement of inclusivity Lee must be commended.
Whether or not this collection is truly indicative of what women - present or future, want to wear, in terms of construction and elegant beauty Lee’s work was rather moving and quite possibly some of her best yet.
Words: Lucy Hardy | Fashion Week Press | @lula_har
Images: Tegan Rush | Fashion Week Photographer | @tegan.photography