At London Fashion Week, designers continue to discover new, unconventional ways to present the Autumn and Winter 2021 collections. Edeline Lee is known for her immersive theatrical presentations in London theatres, which often explore forward-thinking concepts of femininity and feminism. This time, she selects a rather unusual medium. In the beginning, she asks us to listen to a short story, titled Memory Of A Dress, created in collaboration with veteran podcaster Paul Bae and his anthology series The Big Loop. »Please, put on your headphones, close your eyes and enjoy,« she invites us.
As soon as we close our eyes, we can feel this will not be a typical digital fashion week experience. And with Edeline Lee it never is. She offers us something we all crave: a break from our laptop screen and a moment to rest our sore eyes. A short – but much needed – escape from the present.
The story starts in the middle of a dialogue between what is seems to be a computer program and a woman. “Let’s begin. Please stare at the green squares on your screen,” says a slightly electronic, but warm voice. “Downloading will begin in a moment. When you are ready please say so.” It appears the woman purchased a technology that will allow her to store her memories and pass them on to her daughter.
A memory of her mother’s favourite dress keeps recurring in connection to many life events. Some are happy and others are sad. But most of them can’t be labelled as either. Some are joyous but might have a bitter aftertaste. And others should be sad, but they remind us of something good. Through their dialogue, we discover the lingering nature of moments becoming memories - they are not pictures, they are feelings. And these feelings stay with us even when the moment is over. “Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the meaning that lives inside our clothes. Nostalgia and memories that we attach to our clothing,” explains Lee, “Piece of clothing holds a much more significant than only its appearance.”
After we open our eyes, there is a moving-image lookbook of the new collection, a series of pictures imitating memories. Along with signature pieces, including Flou Bubble Jacquard in Malachite and Black and Georgette in Mustard and Brown, the house also introduces a new capsule line of loungewear made of 100% GOTS Certified Organic Cotton. Edeline Lee prefers to focus on the purpose of the clothing. »I wanted to make some luxurious, sustainable staples that one could wear out, but also sleep in. You can roll out of bed and take a Zoom call in these pieces,« she notes. And isn’t that something we all need right now?
Words by Ana Abram
Originally published on Original Magazine