The Wick - Edeline Lee in New Mexico 2017, Mr Wash The Wick - Edeline Lee in New Mexico 2017, Mr Wash
Monday Muse

Interview London Fashion Week favourite Edeline Lee

Interview
Edeline Lee
Portrait and Lookbook
Mr Wash, (c) Ne-o, Jake Knight & Ryoko Tanaka
29 March 2021
Interview
Edeline Lee
Portrait and Lookbook
Mr Wash, (c) Ne-o, Jake Knight & Ryoko Tanaka
29 March 2021
Canadian-British, London-based designer Edeline Lee launched her eponymous label in 2014 after graduating from the world-renowned Central Saint Martins. Her immersive shows and sophisticated modern aesthetic have since become a highlight on the London Fashion Week schedule and loved by the likes of Alicia Vikander, Taylor Swift, Livia Firth and Solange Knowles. Designed with quality and meaning, her pieces are tailored to fit a wide range of body types and made by hand with love and care in England – something that has enabled her to continue creating and innovating throughout the pandemic.

THE WICK:   Talk us through a typical lockdown Monday.

Edeline Lee:   We have now started testing every Monday morning, so my studio starts the day with a nice Covid test. As British manufacturers, we have continued working through the lockdown, albeit in a reduced manner. We just try to keep our chins up, keep making beautiful things, keep each other safe, keep the company going, and look forward to a better time.

TW:   You are a mother and a designer. What would be your tip for those looking to find balance in this brave new world?

EL:   By the time that we are out of this latest lockdown, I will have been a full-time home-schooling mother and a full-time businesswoman for a year – and what a year it has been. Each day I stay up later and later, just to have some time alone in the evening. I think the most important thing for me has been stealing that time for myself. In this time of isolation, for those who have more responsibilities than ever, it’s important not to forget that solitude is necessary too.

“We just try to keep our chins up, keep making beautiful things, keep each other safe, keep the company going, and look forward to a better time.”

TW:   Tell us about a culturally curious object or painting in your home.

EL:   I once had a very moving and significant road trip in New Mexico when I really discovered and understood Georgia O’Keeffe’s life and work for the first time. I found a bleached skull by the roadside and wrapped it up in newspapers and brought it home in my suitcase. When I see it, it reminds me of the quality of light there and of Georgia O’Keeffe’s strength as a woman.

TW:   If you could buy any artwork, from any artist, what would you choose?

EL:   Hieronymus Bosch’s ‘The Garden of Earthly Delights’ – imagine living with that.

TW:   Over the past year, we’ve had to innovate like never before. How did Edeline Lee adapt?

EL:   For Spring/Summer 2021, we made a beautiful little film with Ne-o [the London-based directing duo Jake Knight and Ryoko Tanaka] of one girl endlessly circulating and multiplying around her room. I’m proud of this film. I think we really captured the internal-facing, emotional landscape of this time in a light-filled way.

We also organised hundreds of home sewers all over the UK to help us stitch masks for donation to frontline workers during the first lockdown. We ended by donating 15,500 masks, which was a huge achievement. We cut all those masks by hand, and then with the logistics of sending them around, it was a pretty big undertaking. There were all kinds of people helping – teenagers and grandmas in their eighties sewing at home. It really was life-affirming to see the kindness and effort that everyone put in.

TW:   If you were stranded on a desert island, what would be your must-have item of clothing?

EL:   It would have to be something that is adaptable. I can do a lot with a sarong. A big piece of fabric!

TW:   Any special projects we should know about for 2021?

EL:   There are so many limitations to what we can do for fashion week at the moment – we can’t show, we can’t travel and bring the collection to people. So, for Autumn Winter 2021 at London Fashion Week, we presented an entirely digital show: an audio-only podcast story with Paul Bae of The Big Loop and a moving lookbook. The final part of the show was dropped as the first fashion show NFT on OpenSea. Autumn Winter 2021 was a 360-degree experiment with fashion in the digital space.


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