Leeana Edward’s designs could be the fashion of the near future. Imagine streets, offices and homes full of people wearing dark structured modern clothes with clean lines emphasising their vertical forms. There are flashes of red and white with street art prints amidst the dark industrial clothing, for this is not distopia that bans colours, pleats and bows. It is a stylish future where people wear fashionable but practical clothes.
“Don’t even think of printed shirts…”
The media release for Leeana Edward’s “Urban Textiles” exhibition is so well written I just have to quote it and steal from it. The media release even makes sense; it is not bullshit, the “clean edge design and structured architectural tailoring” in her clothes do show Edward’s “fascination for the Bauhaus School of Design and for Japanese Art and Anime”. The modern elegance of Bauhaus design can be seen in Edward’s reinvention of the necktie into a collar and panel with clean edges. And the panel is enhanced with stencil or screen-prints like a panel from a kimono. In this case a high contrast one colour screen print of Johnny Depp’s face by Pav Art.
An exhibition of fashion, “a collection of one-off skirts, dresses and tops”, in an art gallery is a bold move. Displaying the collection on hanging or on tailor’s dummies allows the viewer more time to appreciate the structure of the garments and detailing than a few seconds of catwalk time. Another reason for the exhibition is to show the work at 696 where she meet her collaborators, Satta van Daal and Pav Art.
Her collaborators, the creators of the stencil and screen-prints for her garments, provided visual support to the exhibition. Impressively Pav Art had wallpapered the two exhibition rooms with giant black and white prints of streetscapes. And along with several of Satta van Daal’s canvases that combine stencil art with painterly fields, it made for stunning exhibition.