Fashion week for me is an opportunity to discover new talent, yes, we all love seeing what Burberry has to show, but its the emerging talent of London that is really moving fashion forward, and on the rise is Norweigan-born, London-based Edda Gimnes, who was this season’s Fashion Scout Merit Award winner. Known for her larger-than-life aesthetic and her incredible illustrations, for spring/summer 2018 she has combined sports-luxe with 1950s glamour and a whole lot of fun with her child-like illustrations and digital prints, which really made an impact when seen together as a presentation.
What I love about Edda, other than her refreshing enthusiasm to fashion and her illustrations, is her, she is super lovely, bubbly and passionate, she is excited about showing at London Fashion Week and she wants to be seen and talk through her collection, which is really rather novel as most of the times new designers just want to shy away in the background and it takes a lot of encouragement normally for them to talk through designs.
To get to know Edda and her collection a little better I chatted with the designer after her London Fashion Week presentation – we talked inspiration, why London and her plans for her label.
What was the inspiration behind your spring/summer 2018 collection?
Edda: “The collection is called ‘Kuneska’ inspired by the first woman to compete in the Olympics back in the day and I also looked at the fashion silhouettes of the 1950s, such as personalities like Greta Garbo and Edwina Mountbatten as they dressed so avante-garde for the time. They always dressed so beautifully and I kind of wanted to bring that back again.”
This collection, like the last features a lot of illustrations is that always important to you?
“The core identity of my brand is my illustrations, I almost always draw with my non-dominant hand, I usually start when most people finish, and for me its that freeness to my drawings that isn’t perfect. As nowadays everything is so perfect, I like that my drawings have a playfulness and imperfection about them and that’s very important to my brand.
“The whole collection, bar one suit and ha, I’ve drawn all the prints by hand, it’s a lot of work.”
How long does it take to put together a collection like this?
“I work best at night, so I can be up from 11pm to 6 in the morning working in the studio while no one is awake and sometimes I can just snap them out, it just depends on the inspiration. For fashion designers, it’s all about the energy, how you are feeling, and I develop my work dependant on how I’m feeling.
“Sometimes, I just get it in a heartbeat, which is like it was for this collection, you should have seen how much I got done in 2 months.”
You’re showing in London as the Fashion Scout Merit Award winner how does that feel?
“For me as a young designer it has been incredible, last year I won the Designer’s of Tomorrow award in Germany, which meant I got sponsorship from them to show and that was incredible, and since then it has been all go.
“For a young designer with the amount of money and energy I’ve put into my collections it is nice to be seen by the right people in the industry. It is so important to have awards like this to give me the opportunity to showcase for them, because showcasing in general, is so expensive, if I hadn’t have had this for this season, I probably wouldn’t have been able to showcase in London. For me, London is where I belong, London is where I have all my contacts.”
“It is very different in Oslo, it is getting there, but I feel that you’ve heard of Stockholm and Copenhagen fashion week being really out there, and Oslo is really following up and has a great tradition there. What I like about London is that it is such a diverse city, I’ve always felt like I can be myself here, when I finished my high school years I was like I’m leaving. But it is wonderful to go back now, I appreciate Norway more now. For what I do I feel that London is just a better base for me right now, but at the same time I still appreciate Norway, there are still people that want to buy and invest.
“To be honest, I think it just depends what you make, as in Norway fashion design isn’t that big and you can really stand out, and I think that’s where it is important and it is very innovative. But I love the idea of showcasing abroad.”
Why did you opt for a presentation over a catwalk show?
“For me, that wasn’t even a thought, I knew instantly I wanted a presentation. When you are designer you are lucky when people come by, and my presentation attracted some big industry names, and you can’t expect them to come by for a slot for five minutes, but when you have a two hour presentation, where people can come by between seeing the Burberry show and the next show, and you can’t expect them to drop someone famous, so I feel so lucky.
“Having a presentation gives me the chance to speak to buyers, show them the clothes, walk around with them, show them the fabrics, and allow them to interact with the collection, than to just see it down the runway, and I think that’s what I wanted a presentation was never in doubt.
“I did a catwalk in Berlin and in Oslo and I feel like a presentation is a really good way of getting your face and brand out there and you can bring people over and you get to speak to them, show them the collection.”
You really have a great confidence has that always been the way?
“You have to be out there, at the end of the day there are so many people in the same boat as you, so you need to know where you want to go. At school I had absolutely no confidence at all, I was always the one behind, I was always so stressed, it was only when I met Manuel (Vadillo), the guy who made it all happen, and he gave me the confidence. He taught me that it is important that you know who you work with, its a team, without him it wouldn’t be possible. It is just so refreshing meeting someone that says that ‘anything is possible’ and that there are no limitations and that’s why I work with him as he is incredible.”
What’s your favourite piece from the spring/summer 2018 collection?
“I think the girl that wore the embroidered dress, with the belt, as I was able to meet Alber Elbaz in Paris and he talked about the importance of layering up and I took a lot of his advice and that dress kind of represents that with the buckle and the 1950s dress. We worked from a tiny embroidery and placed it into photoshop and utilised a lot of technical aspects, and I think that’s one of my fav pieces.”
Where do you see Edda going in the future?
“I always have goals each month. I think goals are important to move forward. You can’t just take a rest and be like ‘oh this happened’. There are so many people who want the same thing as you so you have to plan and separate yourself from them.
“The key thing for me is that I now have production in place, and then I have meetings with buyers to get stockists, and I want to get into the Asian market, that’s important to me.
“The next couple of months are going to be really important in terms of sales and getting stockists and I also have a really exciting collaboration coming up, that I really can’t speak about yet.
“I’m excited, it’s all coming together!”
Edda SS18 ‘Kuneska’
For someone so new to the industry it was impressive to see such a strong and cohesive collection, and Edda has really married her quirkiness and fun factor while adding a more grown-up aesthetic. The 1950’s silhouettes make a statement, such as fit-and-flare dresses, which have been given an Edda makeover with illustrations and surface decoration that really blurs the line of fashion and art, with the dresses teamed with utilitarian buckles, both physical and printed life-like sketches.
Other key highlights include the oversized wide brim hats paired with a one-piece styled under a bellowing cape with thigh-high sock boots, while the sophistication and glamour was seen with the knee length trench coats, box jackets, strapless dresses and handbags seen in a colour palette of olive, mustard, grey, soft pink and blue, accented with decadent colour pops of canary yellow.
Do you guys like Edda and her incredible illustrations?