EDUN AUTUMN/WINTER 2015-16 READY-TO-WEAR NEW YORK
For Edun, Africa is not only a hub of manufacturing but also a significant source of inspiration. Since joining the brand in 2013, creative director Danielle Sherman has traveled to Kenya, Madagascar, Tanzania, and now Morocco, where she met with weavers in Fez and heard the call to prayer all the way up in the High Atlas Mountains. But it was in Tangier that she found the core of the collection: the cross section of European and North African culture.
The concept was best represented in a sleeveless wool overcoat, which was made out of an incredible double-faced black cashmere wool that Sherman sourced from a menswear shop in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, of all places. The silhouette and fabric were a nod to traditional European tailoring, while a panel of handwoven star tapestry brought in the North African ideas. (That part of the piece was made in Fez on a horizontal loom that dates back to Morocco’s golden age. It took a week to produce one yard.) Sherman accessorized the coat with a striking brooch created by a Berber artisan in Tiznit. Low-slung, 100 percent-silver rope belts were also handcrafted link by link in the southern Moroccan town.
To take the tailoring further, Sherman played with deconstruction. A long vest was turned entirely inside out, exposing the seams and patches of subtle batted quilting. Edges were often left raw and unfinished, even on a jumbo trench made from a rich leather usually reserved for handbags. It was about roughing things up. “Things look too perfect right now,” Sherman said at a studio preview. “When something is classic and recognizable, treating it in a way that’s a little unfinished feels newer.”
There’s always something mod about Sherman’s work, and this season it came through in her leather color-blocked shift dresses and the solid round buttons stacked at the hem of her wide leather pants. There were peacoats, too, with exaggerated martingale backs. The shoes, Edun’s first foray into the category, were a bit go-go as well, from a thigh-high leather boot to a slick slingback oxford. Here’s hoping that’s just the beginning when it comes to brand extensions. In less than two years, Sherman has built on Edun’s already established identity in a cool way that is entirely germane to her own sensibilities. Not an easy feat, and she should feel encouraged.