For her London Fashion Week presentation, Edeline Lee opted for a guerrilla-style immersive showcase, which saw the fashion crowd wandering through Burlington Arcade and around the surrounding streets alongside curious members of the public.
Lee is known for her creative presentations, and in previous seasons, she has shown her new collections with the help of dancers, actors and even invited influential women at the top of their game to speak about their causes. For autumn/winter 2023, the Canadian-British designer wanted to showcase “the hidden joys that can be found in our everyday lives,” working with Zeina Durra on the guided walk through Mayfair.
The journey started at the Piccadilly entrance of Burlington Arcade, where attendants dressed in head-to-toe black handed out copies of the fictional ‘The Edeline Lee Times’ newspaper, while a troupe of gypsy jazz musicians riff on Choplin’s Mazurka in G Minor, and an elegant woman pursued the pages while getting her shoes shined.
The faux newspaper featured everything from culture reviews to gossip, a poem of the day and even a fashion agony aunt answering queries on dressing and style. It also highlighted the route of the immersive presentation, as well as covering the tables, walls and windows inside Burlington Arcade, and adorning a glamourous full-length gown.
Edeline Lee presents a walking tour around Mayfair for London Fashion Week
Everywhere you turned was another stop on the inquisitive pursuits of Lee’s ‘Future Lady,’ from a striking woman dressed in white walking her gorgeous Dalmatian to handing out flowers, stacking branded parcels into a vintage Mercedes, and leaning against a lamppost reading Virginia Woolf. There was even a photoshoot in progress, a fictional newsstand, a children’s choir singing outside the Royal Academy, a flower stall, and numerous dancers and musicians taking over gallery spaces around Cork Street.
“The Future Lady exemplifies what dignity, grace, femininity and power look like on accomplished women today,” explains Lee in the show notes. “I want my audience to step into the Future Lady’s shoes, to see London as a treasure trove of possibility wherein small gestures carry great meaning and poetic adventures are only around the corner.”
Lee added: “This project has brought together the local community of Mayfair in a celebration of London. It is a homage to the city I love, to its heritage and creativity.”
For the AW23 collection, Lee experimented with simple, yet bold silhouettes, draped asymmetrical ruffles, voluminous ruching and embellishments, with the gowns making a statement with the glorious Mayfair architecture as a backdrop. Lee also added a series of tailoring in the form of sleek, fitted jackets, cropped boleros and oversized blazers.
Highlights included a saturated baby blue caped gown with a tiered ruffle hemline that looked ravishing in the arches of the Royal Academy, a high-necked knee-length pleated Charmeuse dress with puff sleeves in a highlighter yellow-green, and a statement green coat made in recycled cashmere with the brand’s signature ivory hand-covered buttons and buckles.