[N]orway isn’t known for its avant-garde fashion. But emerging Oslo-born talent Edda Gimnes could not be less minimal, stereotypical Scandi-cool if she tried. The 26-year-old’s eponymous label, EDDA, showcased a happy-go-lucky collection for SS18 during London Fashion Week, featuring 1950s silhouettes, digital printing, playful colour-pop details and sportswear elements.
Winner of the coveted Fashion Scout Merit Award, Gimnes has also found fans in the likes of Lena Dunham and Gigi Hadid more recently, since launching the label in 2015. “My aim is to combine art and fashion in a new and unexpected way,” she tells Hunger. “I feel like you should have fun with the clothes and I feel like wearing my collection is like dressing up for different characters. I want people to wonder and question what fashion is, and get carried away into a fantasy world.” We caught up with the LCF graduate to talk innovation in fashion, embracing a new femininity in the 21st century and the empowering women who inspired her spring 2018 collection…
You’re from Norway but studied fashion in London, what was your experience like working in the UK?
I studied womenswear at LCF not knowing how to do pattern cutting or sew. After three years of really struggling on the course I met such an inspiring teacher named Manuel Vadillo, who helped me turn my weakness into my strength and started inspiring me to do more non-traditional pattern cutting – this led me to my naïve and weird shapes for my graduate collection. A highlight must have been winning the “Germany’s Designer for Tomorrow Award” with Alber Elbaz as one of the prestigious judges last year. I got to spend time with him in Paris, going through the ideas for my new SS18 collection, which was incredible. Also winning the Fashion Scout Merit Award this season makes such a difference and makes it possible for me to continue doing the work I love.
Your collections are highly illustrative – have you always been into drawing?
From a young age I used to have these tiny sketchbooks I brought with me everywhere! But It wasn’t until my foundation year at London Collage of Fashion I really developed my drawing style. A professor gave me the advice that I needed to find a way to stand out and so I started drawing with my non-dominate hand. The technique grew on me, and now it’s become a part of my core brand DNA.
Do you find inspiration more in London or in Norway?
I have to say that the London fashion scene inspires be more. This is where I conduct all my research and create my collections; I absolutely love London. It’s such a melting pot of so many different cultures around the world. Here they cherish people who have guts and the spirit to knock on some doors.
How would you describe the EDDA woman in three words?
Fun, powerful and independent.
What was on your mood board for your SS18 collection?
I drew inspiration from the 1950s and from the fashion masters from this era, which are reflected in some of my silhouettes. I have also looked at women from the 20th century like Greta Garbo, Madame Yevonde and Edwina Mountbatten. I am using elements of formal wear with a twist, as well as borrowing sportswear elements like buckles and straps and juxtaposing them together with more feminine elements. When it comes to the colour range, I feel like this season colours are more grown up: olive, light and dark grey, light pink and blue teal. I also have accents like yellow and mustard.
Tell me more about your process of making, what innovative techniques are you exploring RN and why?
I let my imagination run wild with illustration, and then I transfer my illustrations onto white canvas clothing using digital printing. Pairing simple-cut outfits with black brushstroke drawing my clothes appear as if animated, accentuated by oversized paper-esque gloves, hats and platform sandals. There is something about the energy of the sketching stage of drawing the collection, which allows for the mistakes of the free drawing style to sometimes turn into the best work. To me, perfection is sometimes boring. I find it far more interesting as well as beautiful with the imperfection of things. Also drawing with my non-dominate hand has now grown on me, and now it’s become a part of my core brand DNA.
To find out more follow EDDA on Instagram here.