Eerie and haunting are not words you’d think or want to be used to describe a fashion presentation, but that’s exactly how I’d describe Edeline Lee’s show. I felt haunted, spooked and a little scared, which is exactly what Lee wants. It was utterly brilliant.
The venue was two levels below the ground floor and featured a series of abandoned classrooms each with small, or lone, groups of models performing strange and disturbing scenarios. I kind of felt like I was in a psychiatric ward of a hospital – much like Thom Browne’s insane asylum themed show in New York. It was all very dramatic and almost more like performance art. It was quite easy to forget you were there for the clothes.
One room was filled with black paper boats on the floor with models strewn on the floor emotionless and cold. Another had black bunting littered across the room with one lone model in an emerald caftan with black and ivory panelled sleeves. A pair of models imprisoned in a never-ending game of boules. One model was standing alone in a narrow corridor with a light shining on her clutching a huge black balloon – gave me goose bumps! Throughout the corridors all you could hear was a girl singing lullabies spine-chillingly slowly and I couldn’t help but think she’s now ruined “mockingbird” for me.
Dark colours prevailed, mostly greys and blacks but with streaks of emeralds, blues and ivory here and there. Only one red dress was present, which in itself seemed quite unnatural and striking. I remember that dress in particular because, to me, it felt like the remnants of some sense of sanity. It had the most incredible bullet pleats that looked like tulips and quite summery. The clothes were, in general, quite simple and minimalistic. Lee was inspired by her piano lessons as a young girl and a recent trip to Russia. Piano panelled pleats and print was quite common, providing a refreshing and summery break from the dominant darker colours.
I’m not particularly fond of the haunted house installations at carnivals and I actively avoid horror movies but this was thrilling and completely amazing. When can I go again?
Words by Chris Liu