More than anything else, what a brand needs to succeed in today’s crowded fashion marketplace is a signature—a set of defining attributes that allows people to recognize the label’s clothes among many others, on a shop floor or out on the street. Danielle Sherman’s proud accomplishment at Edun is that she has finally given the company its signature. There’s the graphic look of the clothes, a theme she has pressed from her first collection, for Spring 2014, and which she continued to pursue in this, Edun’s first Pre-Fall outing. But Sherman’s signature-creating effort extends to the details of the clothes as well: As the designer pointed out at an appointment today, she’s made elements such as a high, articulated yoke on tees and jackets into a regular part of the brand’s vocabulary, alongside tailoring that features side slits intended to give structured items, such as a blocky blazer, a sense of softness and ease. There were more than a few terrific pieces here, but what really impressed was Sherman’s thoroughness and the way she had stamped Edun with its own, urbane identity.
Anyway, about those pieces: Interpolating references that ranged from the vivid painted village houses of Burkina Faso to the work of Frank Stella and Japanese artist Yuko Nishimura, Sherman’s collection tended toward the long and lean, with lots of tunic shapes and gently flared, high-waisted trousers. Pairs of the latter in pinstriped gabardine and a cool French terry-like mélange jersey were particularly natty. Elsewhere, the Nishimura-inspired crinkly leather skirts had a Pleats Please-y insouciance. A fitted ribbed zip-through tunic, tied with a tubular belt at the waist, seemed like a great wardrobe workhorse, the kind of thing a woman could pair with lots of clothes she already owns and instantly update their proportions. Sherman’s faux furs had a similar durability—novel in their patchworked graphic-ness but quiet in their palette of sands and browns. They had an offhand, throw-it-on glamour. This season also marked Edun’s first excursion into footwear. The shoes were limited to flat and platform slides of lacquered wood and tubular velvet or curly mohair, and they were likably odd. It’s good that Sherman isn’t afraid of introducing a little quirk here and there, but it’s also nice that she doesn’t lean on that tone too hard. Her sense of signature is strong enough that she doesn’t have to.