Edeline Lee Spring 2022 Ready-to-Wear Collection

Edeline Lee’s spring ’22 collection has a surprisingly sunny disposition when you consider it was conceived while the UK was in lockdown. But then she tells you how she spent her lockdown evenings: “Literally, I spent every night working on color theory; playing with colour wheels and mixing combinations,” she says over a Zoom call from her studio. “I had an idea of making a rainbow, a whole spectrum of optimistic color.” 53 colors to be precise, and each one rediscovered in her own atelier. “We were still in the middle of a pandemic and it just felt wrong to order more fabric, and so I looked around my studio and thought, ‘I’m just going to use everything here.’ We used all the leftovers from previous seasons.”

The result looked anything but cobbled together. “I wanted it to feel very free; to be about escapism,” she explains. That was a feeling that extended to her digital presentation too, which set her clothes against Kyung Roh Bannwart’s dreamy landscapes varying from mountain ranges to outer space. “It was at a moment where we all felt pretty trapped, so the idea of breaking free, of being able to go anywhere without limitations—all the way to the moon should your heart desire—felt really appealing.” FrankKnitty3000 worked on the trippy animations for her directorial debut, Tom Burke wrote the spacey soundtrack, and Christina Wood contributed the vocals.

Surrealism aside, Lee notes there are plenty of solutions for work (her business is rooted in dressing the professional woman; most of her fabrics are immune to wrinkling, for example). Now that her customer is returning to the office, she will be in need of a look that extends beyond waist-up-Zoom-appropriate. But there is ample after-office-hours drama to be found here too, like cocktail numbers decorated in bows that are boned to hold their shape. “I was looking at the Met Gala this week, and it was great to see women dress up again. I think we all need that now,” says Lee. “Because what’s our job as designers if it isn’t to offer joy?”

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