Courage was the inspiration for Edeline Lee’s SS’18 collection: feminine courage, to be precise. As with previous seasons, Lee has explored the idea of what it means to be a woman by creating an aesthetic representation of how this woman may dress. With each season, the persona Lee is crafting shifts further into focus: defining a form of a powerful, multi-faceted and very independent feminine figure. One would picture her as the head of a company, a strong-willed working mother or even a young career-woman beginning her professional life.

Perhaps it was the discordant thumping of music so early on a Sunday morning that pushed Lee’s presentation into a decidedly different realm than that of her previous sets. The transfixing display set a new tone for Lee who travelled to the Badlands of New Mexico to find her inspiration for the narrative behind her collection. Lee imagined the artist Georgia O’Keeffe who, after enduring heartbreak and nervous breakdowns, first laid eyes on the powerful landscape and realised she had found her place within the world and was fated to paint for the rest of her life.

In the show notes, Lee quoted O’Keeffe as saying “I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.” Lee concluded her notes by expressing that she “wanted to connect to the vulnerability and the strength at the core of every woman.”

The overall setting of the presentation from the dressing of the stage to the way the models walked and held themselves was bewitching. O’Keeffe’s iconography of flowers inspired a series of abstracted three-dimensional shapes that stacked upon dresses, organic cotton jersey sweatshirts and t-shirts. Along with her signature feminine shapes, Lee played with techniques of twisting ties and knots this season, sensually alluding to the yonic symbolism in O’Keeffe’s paintings. The colour palette consisted of Blush, Adobe, Cerulean Blue, Nude, Ivory, and Black, which created a base for intricate details of Azure Blue buttons and buckles that flashed hints of golden metal work behind each covering.

This season, Edeline Lee’s woman was empowering and uncompromisingly feminine; a true figure of aspiration not just in the garments but in the story lying beneath them.

Written by Michaela Hoyte. Images by Kim Jakobsen/Edeline Lee.