In Conversation with Merit Award Winner EDDA
We sat down ahead of the September shows, to discuss what makes London creatively unique, why juxtaposing design elements helped form her brand's identity and who the EDDA 'woman' is and can be. This season's Merit Award Winner is known for blurring the lines between fashion and art, using atypical methods to ensure original collections.
How did you get into design?
I always loved creating and making things from a young age, but it wasn’t until I did a summer school at Central Saint Martins in Fashion Design after Sixth Form, I realized that design was what I wanted to do with my life. I had some amazing teachers that had worked for VOGUE etc. which really inspired me. Moving to London was important as well. I absolutely fell in love with the city – just like a melting pot with so many different cultures and people. The city was so different from Norway – everyone dressed so fabulous and creative. I love being able to work as a fashion designer and expressing myself trough design.
How do you feel about showing with Fashion Scout during London Fashion Week?
The Merit Award is an amazing initiative to show support for up-and-coming designers, as getting recognition and guidance is incredibly important at an early stage. It is such an honor to receive this award and I am so thrilled to show my new SS18 collection with Fashion Scout this September. For me the Merit Award makes it possible for me to continue to building my brand.
Did you ever expect to be picked as merit award winner?
When I applied to the Merit Award I was hoping that I might be selected for the next round, but winning the award was beyond my expectations. I feel very lucky and humble and I will definitely make the most of this wonderful opportunity.
What’s your main inspiration for this season?
For my SS18 collection I drew inspiration from the 1950 and from the fashion masters from this era, which are reflected in some of my silhouettes. I have also looked at women from the 20th century, who embraced their femininity still being sporty and independent, like Greta Garbo, Madame Yevonde and Edwina Mountbatten. I am using elements of formal wear with a twist, as well as borrowing sportswear elements like buckles and straps and juxta positioning them together with more feminine elements. When it comes to the colour range, this season is very different from my previous collections. I feel like this season colours are more grown up: olive, light and dark grey, light pink and blue teal. I also have accents like yellow and mustard.
What do you hope to communicate through your clothing?
My aim is to combine art and fashion in a new and unexpected way. I feel like you should have fun with the clothes and I feel like wearing my collection is like dressing up for different characters. I want people to wonder and question what fashion is, and get carried away into a fantasy world. I think it’s important not to take fashion too seriously, but have fun with the clothes dress up and make up your own narrative of who you want to be. The EDDA woman is strong, independent, powerful and fun. I love to dress up women of all ages.
Do you think the fashion industry is changing at the moment?
The digitalisation of the society has definitively reached the fashion industry. I believe the increase in online magazines, online shopping and social media with bloggers and influencers creates platforms where young designers can introduce their brand, designs and ideas. Social media allows you to come into contact with people in the fashion industry from all over the world, even without a massive marketing budget. The globalisation also affects the industry, being able to sell worldwide challenges the ideas of seasons. It is always summer somewhere. In my experience, people are craving the clothes from the catwalk right away, this may influence the timespan from showing a collection to actually selling it.
How do you think that London Fashion Week is different to other fashion weeks around the world?
I absolutely love London, such a melting pot of so many different cultures around the world. What I love about London is their openness to new people and ideas. In London, they cherish people who have guts and the spirit to knock on some doors. If you don’t ask you never know what the outcome might be. They are always on the lookout for new talent.
What do you hope for in the future?
This is the first season I have production set up, so hopefully I will be able to sell my design and take the business to the next level. My dream is to be able to work and live of my design, because this is what I absolutely love doing! I hope I am able to do some great collaborations and set up my online store in the near future.
Words by Annabel Waterhouse-Biggins