Short skirts, crop tops, keyhole slits and long dresses, off the shoulder pieces and loose center striped pants in direct contrast with knit short sleeved bodysuits. The truth is that Edun has been making its mark in the fashion industry with gusto, focusing on its social entrepreneurship scheme while truly taking its inspirations from the tribes of Africa. This time around, the Edun spring/summer 2016 collection presented on the New York Fashion Week runway features the Kuba people of Africa. “They’re celebrated for their textiles and their performances — that’s why I wanted to have the drummers, to celebrate that here today,” Danielle Sherman, the creative director of the brand, revealed backstage. She has effectively taken Edun to a whole new level, consistently having it appear as a well-rounded collection, highly referenced in the fashion world. There was something entirely too compelling about the pieces brought out onto the runway, so much so that we find it hard to remember any other collection when faced with Edun’s latest.
This particular collection makes us happy in so many ways. While staying true to many of the trends we can now make out among the fray, trends that have been repeated over the past 2 years consistently, it brings in new flair. We love the muted yellows that appear on stage, amidst the black and the white and the greys, while very much enjoying the use of fringe and contrast stitching, the raw linen and the oversized ponchos seen in abundance. Fringed hems and frayed edges are a common sight, while the sleeves range from thick straps to long pieces covering every inch of those limbs. The exaggerated volumes of the pieces are quite flattering as well, while the whole of the collection seemed to have a rather effortless feel to it. Sustainable high fashion is what Edun is and we love what Sherman’s done to really make the image of the brand glow.
Between the ceremonial dance costumes of the Kuba people from Central Africa to the streets of New York, the pieces presented certainly have all the flavour necessary to really bring out the beauty of what makes fashion so astounding. Pointy slippers with the spice of Morocco slipped into view and macramé trimmings brought in reminders of Madagascar. We find that when designers decide to weave in ethnic and exotic motifs, the outcome is so much more interesting than the simplicity that has taken over the runways of late, or the crazier, more shocking designs that often leave us wondering if any of those pieces actually sell to the public as ready-to-wear. Sherman seems to have gotten the recipe right and is definitely paving her path to Edun’s popularity, wherein the brand will share in a much larger pie of the overall pie.
With the workman’s orange and off-the-shoulder trend we are loving this season, we can certainly see the line-up appealing to multiple niche populations around the world. The best part is that Africa as a whole benefits from Edun’s success, possibly a factor, which feeds in to its popularity, though the designs we see are certainly deserving of it.
Photos courtesy of Vogue