I wrote about the work of fashion designer Edda Gimnes on Techstyler back in February and was curious to see where her penchant for large, sweeping illustrated textiles had taken her for this season. Edda is an emerging designer beginning to navigate her way into the fashion industry, grabbing onto opportunities arising from winning the bronze award at Designer’s Remix in Milan in March and Germany’s ‘Designer of Tomorrow‘ award in July, following the launch of her label EDDA at Fashion Scout seven months ago during London Fashion Week.
Edda’s speciality is her celebration of ‘naive’ illustration (she draws with her non-dominant hand) and her willingness to be led into creative territory by mistakes and asymmetry in pattern cutting. Most western-trained fashion graduates are schooled to strive for balance in pattern cutting, with a focus on fit and silhouette. Edda’s patterns are a canvas – at times literally – for her fun and figurative broad-brush stroke designs which are digitally printed onto textiles. The result is graphic, bold and a whole lot of fun.
Winning the ‘Designer of Tomorrow’ award following her SS16 collection launch has earned Edda the tutelage of Alber Elbaz, commencing in 2017. She will create collections in Germany and expand her practice and understanding of commerciality and manufacturing during the year-long award, supported by Peek and Cloppenburg. I joined Edda to view her SS17 collection in East London, following her presentation at Fashion Scout during London Fashion Week. She talked me through her ambitions to develop more wearable pieces in this collection and create structured dresses with softer prints to balance her signature graphics whilst maintaining the fun and naive construction and idiosyncratic details. She peppered the new collection with colour and also introduced cute illustrated canvas handbags.
I was especially drawn to the graphic prints in this collection. Trying on Edda’s clothes transports me into a Quentin Blake-illustrated Roald Dahl-esque world, exciting my imagination and wrapping me in fantastical childhood memories. Who wants to be a grown up anyway?
Edda SS17 London Fashion Week presentation
Edda and I discuss fashion magic and she wholeheartedly believes in keeping the spirit and fun in her designs from concept through to the final product. Arguably, fashion is most successful when it offers familiarity and fantasy at the same time – there is something that feels right (nostalgic or familiar) and something new about it. Edda’s creations deliver that. They are so authentic – like a child’s frank honesty – and carry with them the designer’s charm, making the clothes highly personal for both her and the wearer.
I’m placing a personal order and look forward to experiencing this feeling every time I wear one of Edda’s designs. I also look forward to seeing the response it elicits from others. After all, fashion is a language best celebrated in dialogue and Edda’s graphic stories are the perfect conversation starter.