In a year of prophesized demise, Tessa Edwards presents a collection that prepares us for the end of the world and keeps us fabulous at the same time.
Twenty-twelve represents the end of the Mayan calendar. It is a date associated with predicted demise and mystery throughout recorded history, and for Tessa Edwards, this cataclysmic end of civilization is at the very heart of her autumn/winter 2012 offerings. Intrigued by the constant cycle of destruction and creation, Edwards explores the cyclical forces of nature through the historic spirituality of crystals and protective, warrior-like clothing.
The venue for her London Fashion Week presentation matched the mood of the collection perfectly. At the hidden and exclusive LOW members club, the presentation channeled Edward’s post-apocalyptic vision seamlessly. Concealed beneath two basements on the quiet and incredibly genteel Jermyn Street, the club housed contrasting bunker-esc vibe, where lights were dim and dark, and drumming music permeated through the sound system.
During the event, a chilling surrealist fashion film was screened, which helped to disseminate Edward’s visual concept and highlighted some of the garments from the collection. Circles were again a dominant feature with golden fur hinting at the myth of the Golden Fleece, whilst digital prints of magma and other destructive forces were present on a variety of garments.
In a literal representation of creation through destruction, crystals were the focus of the extensive jewelry collection. These naturally formed crystals are transformed and reinterpreted as they become encased and reborn within Swarovski Crystal Resin. Key pieces feature Swarovski crystals as inclusions, further developing multiple levels of both physical texture as well as conceptual understanding. The natural becomes reborn by external, manmade forces.
Intricate metalwork in natural ore of gold and silver work to ground the collection, bringing manmade synthetics quite literally back to earth. The brand’s logo of interlocking circles and squares features heavily, and whilst the design may be technically simple, the effect of the interlocking shapes is quite striking. The natural rawness of the crystals is highlighted as they protrude from thick leather straps on necklaces and bracelets. Thick resin cuffs of yellow boast large crystal embellishments that quite literally jump out at you. The accessories standout is definitely the resin boots, created with crystallized heels and teamed with Springbok fur encasing the calf. The extended base of the shoe is a continuation of the graphic heels of last season and results in a visual elongation of the foot.
Edwards’ world is a post-apocalyptic dreamland where ancient mythology and urban grime are reborn in precious jewels and protective armour. Whilst quirky and indeed ‘out-there,’ each item is itself both beautifully crafted as well as perfectly in line with her vision. Through a combination of natural and synthetic forms, Edwards creates a collection that blurs the line between real and fake, creation and destruction. The end result is a lightweight, transparent and strangely wearable creation that entirely embodies the aesthetic she is trying to convey. When the end of the world comes, there’s no doubt you’ll want to be wearing Tessa Edwards.