NEW YORK, United States — The discrepancy between the succinct and sometimes slightly abstract show notes — offered up as a key to deciphering a collection — and what you actually see on the catwalk can sometimes be vast. Of course inspiration does not need to be translated literally into finished products, but sometimes it appears as if references are created, slightly arbitrarily, a posteriori, making them hard to believe. It happened today at Edun. The point of departure seemed honest and heartfelt, yet the result somehow felt contrived and cold.
A nod to Africa is an essential part of the Edun lexicon — after all, more than 85 percent of the collection is now manufactured in Africa. This season, creative director Danielle Sherman paid homage to the Kuba people and their highly inventive cloths and costumes, as well as to the avant-garde movements of the 1930s. Yet, despite the promise of creative chaos, her creations had a stern, architectural quality that did not suggest anything tribal, nor vital.
With their firm lines and dense textures, the a-line tunics, cropped wide pants, jumpsuits and long dresses kept to the minimalist vibe Sherman has explored of late. A rough, human touch came in the form of heavy fringing, either as raw hems or proper, dense fringes creating dancing lines around the silhouette. It was an effective move that created an interesting play of lively textures, breaking the overall monotony of the collection. However, it did not help to erase what looked like heavy referencing. All in all, there was perhaps more Céline than Kuba on the mood-board.