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Edwina Forest
Creative Director

'When looking to the ballet for inspiration we wanted to celebrate the innate femininity and strength of the formidable ballerina's who are at once; soft and strong, powerful and gentle, vulnerable and self-assured.'

 

Lifting the curtain on the creative process behind Aje's latest collection, her key silhouettes from Révérence Summer 20 and the art of crafting her own personal style, we sit down with Creative Director, Edwina Forest, who spills the beans in between appointments in Paris. Captured by Daphne Nguyen, your exclusive inside scoop starts now.

How an homage to the world of ballet, delve into the journey and inspiration behind Révérence Summer 20

Designed in two acts, Révérence pays homage to the ballet, to form, texture, movement and womanhood. Inspired at once by the classical and the modern Révérence joins dancer details in a pas de deux with oversized tailoring and sculptural silhouettes. When in the concepting phase for Summer 20, Adrian and I were drawn to the duality of the ballet, the juxtaposition of the innate femininity yet powerful strength of its formidable ballerinas. At once soft and strong, powerful and gentle, vulnerable and self-assured, the duality of the ballerina represents the contrasts that co-exist within the modern woman. Révérence is our play on this duality, through the creation of pieces that empower the Aje woman to embrace her own contradictions. Exaggerated volume meets relaxed tailoring, oversized lacing sits next to ornate pleating, the Révérence attitude is at once sanguine and nonchalant.

What are the key silhouettes to look for in Révérence?

A synonymous silhouette from the brand, there is something both feminine and bold about the statement sleeve that I, amongst others find so alluring and fascinating. This duality is something I continually gravitate to. The ideal way to embrace this trend for summer is to select a feminine piece with a bold statement sleeve, in a soft lightweight billowing fabrication, paired with a touch of leather or structure – this adds a modern-day twist to a classic silhouette. The lightweight fabrication evokes a sense of movement and softness while the leather and structure creates balance. It is the perfect coupling of the tough and the feminine that we love at Aje.

Looking to my other highlight, I think that suiting will also be a major player this season. I have found myself embracing the white oversized blazer as an alternative to black. Slightly more audacious than its noir counterpart, it feels equally timeless and elegant to wear.

The art of crafting your own personal style stems from building a solid base of staples, which are your favourites from Summer 20?

There is something innately beautiful in perfecting the art of the staple. From Révérence, I will be gravitating towards our man-style shirting, oversized tailoring, and updated denim signatures as my wardrobe heroes. There is a real sense of effortlessness that comes from these classic styles, and the reason they live as perennial muses in my daily rotation. More specifically, I will be adopting our candied colour suiting and ornately pleated trenching.

“There is a real sense of effortlessness that comes from these classic styles, and the reason they live as perennial muses in my daily rotation.”

Never shy of a bold palette, tell us how colour is expressed in Summer 20

Personally I have seen myself embracing more colour and print the past few seasons. In particular I have been gravitating towards bold tones block styled. For Summer 20 suiting appears oversized and in bold tones of ciel and fuchsia, inspired by the magnetic contrast of the ballerina, being masculine and feminine all at once. Print has been explored in new ways, drawing reference from the swift dynamism of pointe shoes on stage, and the fluent movements of the ballerina. Though not for the faint of heart, when taking on these bold tones it is important to pair back every other aspect of your look and allow it to be the hero. For those a little more hesitant a print is always a great place to start. There is something so innately feminine about a print - soft or bold - that I just love.

Who is the Aje woman for Révérence and forever?

A celebration of womanhood, Révérence is at once an ode to the world of ballet and the world of the Aje woman. A curious being, who sees the world through a unique lens. She craves adventure and new opportunity and seeks to immerse herself in the world around her and its many great unknowns. The Aje woman is aware, tactile and discerning. She seeks growth through experience. We want to encourage this curiosity and desire for knowledge. We believe that there is so much to be gained through experience and immersing oneself in culture and the arts. These are sure fire ways to feed the soul.

Frequently travelling for work, which pieces do you find yourself gravitating to whilst in Paris?

I always make sure to pack a longline blazer, an oversized smock dress, white man style shirt, mid-length dress that can be adapted to suit any occasion, and an array of sunglasses, earrings and shoes. These are my personal go-to styles for everyday effortless dressing while travelling. Seamlessly taking me from hosting appointments in our Paris showroom during the day to dinner at LouLou that evening with my love.

“The Aje woman is aware, tactile and discerning. She seeks growth through experience. We want to encourage this curiosity and desire for knowledge.”

Share with us your favourite haunts in home away from home, Paris

EAT
My eternal favourites, Hôtel Costes and Loulou, on a temperate summer's evening with my love.

SLEEP
A short walk to our showroom space in Place des Vosges, Pavillon de la Reine is a hidden paradise and a welcome step back in time.

SHOP
Home to my favourite vintage haunts, Paris' best kept secrets will have to stay just so!

EXPLORE
From the joint forces of Alexander Calder and Pablo Picasso at Musée Picasso, to the Foundation Louis Vuitton's latest ode to French Architect, Charlotte Perriand, I always reserve time in my schedule to visit my favourite galleries.

 

Aje Insider : Edwina Forest

Photographer : Daphne Nguyen

 

Shot in Paris, France

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