Chapter I: Silence
This collection was inspired by a Biblical account of Joshua. I aligned this Old Testament story with a New Testament verse that cites ‘Faith comes by hearing the word of God’
This was visually translated with a series of designs created with various textures in shades of black & white, to reflect when we listen & we choose not to hear, and the layers are the whispers in the midst of the silence.
Chapter II: There can be Miracles
This collection was inspired by the Biblical account of a blind man being healed with clay (IE spit & dirt).
This was visually translated with an earthy tribal palette, heavy textured with luxe fabrications such as cashmere burlap & raw edged shearlings.
Chapter III: Nation Changers
This collection was inspired by a Biblical account of an encounter Jesus had with an unnamed woman from Samaria.
The moral of story is ‘Are we extend the same grace to others as we have received ourselves, and willing to love people where they are at, rather than based on what they have done...because you never know who will be used to change a nation.
This collection was inspired by a Biblical account of a woman named Rahab—The Harlot.
This narrative is intended to reflect how one can become a product of the people they choose to commune with most, and that tribe of people can change the destiny of one’s life.
Mary Poppins goes to New Delhi
This collection was inspired by the children's classic from Disney's 'Mary Poppins'. What would it look like if when Mary hopped into the painting with Bert & the kids , that they ended up on a journey to India instead the horse races?
It sparked my imagination to consider the Holi festival with its colourful dyes, folds of a sari AND mother Teresa. Juxtaposing the Edwardian era with techniques of dying, beading, embellishments found in India, along with Catholic iconography of the sisterhood all in luxe Royal fashion.
Chapter VI: The Chronicles of Narnia
I had been a fan of the CS Lewis novel series since I was young. It had always been my intention to one day interpret the story of the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe into a collection.
The fashion show evolved like a narrative from the servants below stairs in a black & white, to the main characters having British fashion influences during WWII, to the introduction of fur when the children exited the wardrobe into Narnia, leading to appearances of the White Witch & the preparation for battle , and ending with the thaw from Aslan's resurrection
Chapter VII: The Emancipation of the Icelandic Ghost Pirates
This collection was inspired by two of my interns from Nashville, sisters @elibroocksowens & @lolarothschild, in the Summer of 2005. They were obsessed with pirates at the time, and in turn, gave me my own pirate alias 'Edward Lovely'!
The premise of this collection was that the disembodied spirits rose up, and were freed of being robbed by the influence of death. This narrative was visually translated by diaphanous layers in greys & whites with accent hues of washed out pastels.
Chapter VIII: Overcoming the Fears that Bind.
This collection was inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's fear of death. I had an epiphany to stage my fashion show as a mock funeral
For a venue, I managed to convince the minister @theredeemerto to allow me to show my runway presentation in the sanctuary.
The premise was overcoming fears (e.g. approval of others, being alone, etc.) that prohibit one from living abundantly.
Chapter IX: From Emptiness to Purpose
This collection was loosely inspired by the novel 'Memoirs of a Geisha' Specifically the dreamlike cinematic adaption. There was a line in the film that stood out for me, and became the catalyst for my visual narrative. She thought to herself: ‘It was at that moment when I met the chairman that my life went from emptiness to purpose’. He redeemed her from a life of brokenness.
The fashion show was staged in a park like setting that was part of showroom for a building that Phillipe Starck designed.
Chapter X: Following the Light in the Darkness
This collection was inspired by light, but ironically, primarily all of the pieces were made in dark tones. However, each textile used had a finish that 'reflects' the light when shone upon it. (e.g. Laminated silks, waxed wool, lurex/cashmere yarns).
The premise of this idea is that if one chooses to emerge from shadows & darkness of life, and be exposed or enter the light, it generates a reaction that enables one to become alive in ways they may have never imagined, and in turn reflects back on others.
Chapter XI: Thinking Outside the Box
This collection was loosely inspired by the film 'Finding Neverland'. The premise of this inspiration was to challenge oneself to not be bound by one’s conventional reality, but rather think outside the box by making life more interesting on a daily basis, just because one has the power to.
To this end, the collection consisted of a series whimsical ensembles & dresses solely to make one smile, happy, and be inspired to wear something special just because one believes they are worthy!
Chapter XII: Not Existing at the Mercy of Circumstance
The intention was to demonstrate that one could buy a singular piece infuse it into their existing wardrobe without feeling the need to buy a head to toe look. At the time this collection shown, the idea was quite progressive & not easily understood.
the overall concept was a to portray an idea that was bit like a scene from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade when he comes to a cavernous gap, gets a clue leap of faith & runs and the ground formed beneath his feet. This is how I believe life should be lived!
Chapter XIII: Will the Circle be unbroken?
The market crash of 2008 reminded many of the stock market crash of 1929. It came at a time that I was purchasing fabrics for 2009 which almost seemed prophetic in their reflections of the roaring 20’s & Art Deco movements.
This collection was inspired by the aforementioned influences of the jazz era. Drop waisted jersey lined dresses overlaid in tulle, caviar beaded sequin and embroidered fabrics were all present in this 2009 collection.
Chapter XIV: Investment dressing: Statement vs Staple
After the housing crash in 2008 , it seemed insensitive to be showcasing fashion shows during a time when people were losing their homes, savings & jobs, and just trying to keep milk on the table.
As a result, the collection chose to focus on two things: Staple pieces that clients were looking to update & knew would last years, and Statement pieces like a dramatic #necklace or #belt , or a novelty jacket that could be worn with anything to refresh their pre-existing wardrobe.
Chapter XV: Restore & Redeem
In Jan 2009, I went Africa to help build a school in Uganda. It profoundly impacted my life , and in turn, I sought to initiate a humanitarian effort to recast a vision for women in Eastern Africa who have been marginalized in society because of political wars, HIV and sex trafficking . To this end, a non-profit endeavour was birthed in Rwanda by a dear friend Glenda Dubienski.
This all white collection was a tribute to those women, & the history of Africa.
Chapter XVI: Cirque Noire... On with the show!
After doing an all white collection, I felt inspired to do an almost all black collection inspired by the history of the circus referenced by a @taschen coffee table book.
@officialderickchetty wrote: “His almost all-black collection for fall had the feeling of an old-fashioned travelling circus whose band of entertainers had hurriedly unpacked their trunks and mixed and mismatched their finery from different eras for a post-performance party.”
Chapter XVII: Impression-ism
My father took me to NYC as a high school graduation present. I remember going to @metmuseum and seeing the impressionist wing for the first time like it was yesterday...Seeing Degas chalk drawings & ballerina sculpture, and techniques of other artists from that period brought me to tears. It was the first time I discovered that art could evoke an emotional response without words.
Marcus Aurelius said 'The soul becomes dyed by the colour of its thoughts'. To this end, this collection became a combination of soulful heritage dresses & foundation garments loosely inspired by the impressionist era.
A few months before I began designing this collection, I had been commissioned by @albertaballetcanada to design the costumes for @officialsarahmclachlan ballet ‘fumbling towards ecstasy’.
I loved watching the dancers rehearse because they would typically wear whatever they fished out of a pile of clean laundry that morning...often mismatched and a balance of intriguing unconventional proportions, creating a compelling aesthetic.- Observing these practices served as the inspiration for this collection.
Chapter XIX: NBA vs French Revolution
A little known fact is that I enjoy watching NBA playoffs. At the time I was designing this collection, I happened to be watching the finals, and during the TV commercials I would flip channels to PBS to watch the 25th anniversary special of the Broadway musical of Les Miserables. Ergo, juxtaposing basketball sport with French revolution.
Chapter XX : Paradoxical Freedom
This collection was inspired by the thought that perhaps the acts or ideologies held by someone that are believed to bring them freedom, are actually the ideas & vices that bind them from being truly liberated.
The aesthetic of the collection contained leather cummerbund belts that bound the waist like Japanese obis, glamours cuffs with spikes & crystals that seemed like shackles, and glitzy collars that had a weighted appearance on the neck, but were feather light. These elements were all intended to reflect the concept of the theme, alluding to the idea that things that can act as manacles in life can often have a pretty appearance to lure one in.
Chapter XXI: Breaking Amish
The inspiration of this collection was about a young woman who fled her religious colony to the big city & got caught up in the speakeasy jazz world of depression era.
It was intended to be this coming of age story of self discovery, moving from a place of brokenness to wholeness & finding reconciliation with the past to become all that she was intended to be.
Chapter XXII: The mirror has two faces
This collection was inspired by the idea that people's appearances are not always as they seem. Their reflection does not necessarily convey what’s going on internally, or how a person acts is not necessarily a sincere reflection of their character.
Chapter XXIII: Morals of the Stories
I have come to view myself as a visual storyteller, so it seemed apt to design a collection inspired by lessons we learn from fairytales.
The image in this photo reflects two stories: one about a greedy woman & a magical golden fish; The other is about a poor #girl who gives away everything she has to others, and as a result the stars fall from the sky turning into silver coins, making her rich.
Chapter XXIV: Gun Control?
The gun debate in the USA has been perplexing to me ever since the Columbine shooting. After watching reporting on Sandy Hook 15 years later, as a cross-border observer, I had hoped that greater logic would have set in.
This collection was designed around the time of that tragedy, and is sadly still relevant today.
I decided to use satire to convey the ideology that someone justifies their right to own a semi-automatic rifle for the purposes of hunting. 'She wore camo sequin to kill her dinner & salvaged the feathers'.
Chapter XXV: 24/7
2015 was a busy year for my company and I. At the beginning of that year, I launched my shearling brand Lamb.s.Laughter, traveling with the collection for 5 weeks prior to running my first marathon in Rome.
I focused on essentials of a woman's wardrobe—all the items a woman may need in her wardrobe 24 hours a day 7 days a week for any occasion and any form of travel.
The collection consisted of primarily black and white staples: The ideal #skirt , the sleeveless tux shirt to dress up or down, the ombré jersey #dress that travels brilliantly for any occasion (as shown), the novelty coat that can be thrown over any basics, and statement neck pieces to finish the look.
Finding Simplicity can often be complex.
I read an article about wild horses that occupied land on Fort Polk Military Base in Louisiana that were in threat of being displaced. The Army had proposed their relocation by citing that they were a disruption to their training. The feral beings had been in existence there since the 1940's, and a heritage to the area dating back to the Native Americans.
This story presented a host of connected inspiration ideas based on word association: Army = Military Green as a colour Base; Fort Polk/1940's = Polkadots; Horses = Western, leather, etc.
Chapter XXVII: First Impressions
At the time I designed this collection, I was serving as the artist in residence for @glenbowmuseum ...After researching archives from so many different eras, I became intrigued by the changing silhouettes over the years. To this end, due to limited time, I focused on a collection of special order #couture pieces in a palette of #nude and blush tones in diaphanous layers of silk tulle, lace and beading.
The trapeze dress in this image is actually an organza skirt that took 3 months to hand bead.
Chapter XXVIII: Keep looking forward
This collection was loosely inspired by the Biblical story of Sodom & Gomorrah, specifically Lot’s wife who looked back and turned into a pillar of salt.
Visually the collection was primarily navy, black, and shades of grey to reflect the destruction & smoke. Chiffon was embroidered to resemble grains of salt, embellishments to resemble glittery piles of ash. The accent colours were orange and yellow to symbolize flame and sulpher.
Chapter XXIX: Let the Games Begin
Although this collection was not released until recently, it was originally developed during the summer when the Olympics were taking place.
As a result, sporty lines and silhouettes were large influence in the designs. The palette had a predominately navy base with accents of yellow, white and orange.
Chapter XXX: The Collector
In 2017 while I was in Paris on a buying trip, I had the privilege of attending the prestigious collection of modern art by the Russian patron Sergei Shchukin @fondationlv Louis Vuitton ...
The exhibition "Icons of Modern Art: The Shchukin Collection" consisted of 160 masterpieces among which paintings & sculptures
It was a transcendent experience to view the works I had studied in art history class in person for the first time. The unconventional colour combinations leaped off the walls serving as a catalyst of inspiration for this & other collections in the future.
Chapter XXXI: Full Circle
My first collection was designed in shades of black and white. I thought it would be the most economical for production to have two colours of thread, etc. I made the entire sample collection in the kitchen of a bachelor suite apartment known as ‘The Bat Cave’.
As I approached the 15th anniversary in business, I reflected on the DNA of the brand: Individual pieces that one can personalize and infuse into their existing wardrobe; Layering of textures; using traditional special occasion fabrics for day and vice versa for evening; and staple knits.
This collection revisits timeless classics that refresh and work back to all the previous collections.