Edeline Lee AW19 London Fashion Week

‘Fashion is always aspirational. In today’s world, what do we aspire to?’

AW19 was the most politically charged fashion week London has seen, with designers using their platform to showcase issues close to their hearts, from equality and empowerment, to Brexit, race, sustainability and animal welfare.

Canadian-born designer Edeline Lee believes that fashion is “an arena where women are always seen, seldom heard”, and she intends to change that. Lee gave us one of the most powerful presentations of the season; an immersive and collaborative event with talks given by a diverse group of 35 women.

Each speaker was introduced by a model wearing a look from the designer’s latest collection; in a groundbreaking move, the clothes were intended to support the performance, as the model took a step back out of the spotlight. From Dame Mary Beard to award-winning beatboxer Grace Savage, CNN war correspondent Clarissa Ward, author Reni Eddo-Lodge, and Olympic gold medalist Sally Gunnell; we heard the voices of women from fashion to STEM, technology, performance art, design, education, activism, and the clergy.

AW19 showcased Edeline Lee’s playful and feminine aesthetic, using her signature gentle folds and looped bows to manipulate her distinctive silhouettes, cascades of georgette ruffles, and deceptively pared back tailoring. With subtle shirring and ruched waists, Lee used unique textile twisting and knotting techniques, 3-dimensional ruffled accents, and intricate hand embellishments in a soft colour palette of rust, rose, palest blush, buttermilk, and dove grey, contrasted with rich bottle green, pure cornflower blue, and petrol.

AW19 gave us exaggerated off-the-shoulder smocking on an impeccably tailored sheath dress in the designer’s signature Flou Bubble jacquard, and abstract modern florals in bold jewel tones and dusky hues on softly structured trench coats and nostalgic tea dresses. Ruffles featured throughout the collection; delicate and dainty on a blush pink buttoned-down frock, or bold cascading frills to accentuate the line of a pair of impeccably cut ankle skimming trousers. A stunning emerald green dress in Lee’s own bubble jacquard was allowed volume in a loosely draped and tactile waterfall of fabric.

The Edeline Lee aesthetic is distinctive; pared back tailoring with a twist, impeccably executed with statement embellishments and a flawless use of draping. Each flourish was carefully considered for AW19, making the designer’s impeccably proportioned collection one of the highlights of this season’s LFW programme.

By Lucie Dhog. Images shot for us by Hannah Gordon-Smith.