VFS Exhibition - Edward Finney Q&A

Photography by Ezzidin Alwan
Edward. Talk me through your Spring Summer collection.
It’s always a story about a woman. This season I chose Alice de Janze; she was quite infamous during the Twenties, so that’s where the silhouette comes from. During her lifetime she moved over to Kenya (that’s where the tartan comes from) – the Maasai tribe used to trade with the Scots who paid them in the fabric. I was keen to use the fabric in a spring summer collection, on pieces that weren’t just suitable for winter. There’s also a Prince of Wales check that’s been worked into an eveningwear section.

You’ve talked a lot about the fabric, how important is it that they are highest quality?
If you’re aiming for a high-end market it’s really important, this season I wanted the fabrics to be of an amazing quality, but also the finish. Al the bindings and seams are done by hand, so there’s a crisp finish that creates a more couture-like and luxe finish.

I’ve noticed all this beautiful lacing. Was that inspired by the Maasai too?
Yes, and I like the way that, from a distance the shoelaces act more like some kind of embellishment. When it’s photographed it looks incredible!

What’s your design process?
I tend to find images, read books, look at film – then I edit all the info into a carefully selected book. There might only be two images but they work perfectly together, it’s a case of blending the images together. Then I work directly from that onto a dummy, I don’t draw. I work in 3D, because that’s what clothes are. It allows me to develop garments organically, and, for me, that’s the most important thing.

Tell me more what else you’ve been up to during fashion week…I’ve heard rumours of lots of trouble?
I decided to take elements of the collection straight to the buyers and press, rather than waiting for them to come to me. On Saturday I put a model in one of the statement dresses, hooked up with all these pipes filled with ink that burst when she pressed a button. She walked into the venue – where everyone was already taking photos – and all this black ink started to bleed through the fabric. Security did some over, but I don’t think I got into too much trouble! On Sunday I shot a mini look-book outside, that obviously attracted a lot of attention.

So is that the future of fashion?
Well fashion always used to be about guerrilla activities and I think that, at the moment it’s so heavily based on commercialism and I can see it backfiring. As a small designer you can’t compete with the established brands – that’s a dodgy situation, so I’d rather be involved with events and processes that you can’t recreate.

Text: Victoria Loomes 
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