Edward Meadham on Blue Roses Chapter Two

about dressing as a form of armour, his interest in taking photographs, and what to expect from the new mini collection…

It’s hard to feel overtly joyful about anything existing within the current fashion industry. I may be a pessimist, but perhaps rightly so. With most designers dripping their collections in a frankly distasteful pseudo-irony combined with a lack of imagination and a misplaced fetishisation of banality — as each season ticks by, what appears on the runways seems to have less and less relevance to the lived experience of myself, or any of my peers.

But if unashamedly liking things seems to be the most uncool thing someone can do — it becomes more and more important to celebrate the people, things, and clothes that bring us joy. One of which being, for me personally, Edward Meadham. After launching his first instalment of Blue Roses just before Christmas last year, Edward is back with Blue Roses Chapter Two. An expansion on the t-shirts, hoodies, stockings, cuffs and collars of Chapter One; this second mini collection includes dresses, shoes, shirts, bags and more. While the latter retails at a price point unachievable to purchase for most girls I know, the clothes themselves — along with the campaign shot by Edward — still feel like a small glimmer of hope in an increasingly boring, if not totally depressing, world.

Because while we may have pink frilly things co-opted by corporations in the name of female empowerment on the daily — anything overtly femme still feels largely demonised in culture at large. What Edward, and Blue Roses, provides, is something worth getting excited about in a way I haven’t since I was 15 endlessly scrolling the internet searching for something to care about. In his own words, Blue Roses is love and rage in equal measures. For me at least, it’s love in the sense you’re thankful something like it — and someone like Edward — exists, and rage in the sense it’s disappointing that there aren’t more people — or fashion labels — like him.

Below I speak to Edward about dressing as a form of armour, his interest in taking photographs, and what to expect from the new mini collection…

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ON THE FASHION INDUSTRY…

“I’m really depressed by the fashion culture that we’re surrounded by right now, with everybody’s collections being compromised by pieces like… Adidas t-shirts. I don’t understand why that’s there. it’s not like I don’t love clothes. I still really love old clothes a lot. I’ve alway hated anything contemporary. I can look back on fashion from ten, five, fifteen years ago and say, Oh that was so lovely. So you know I think that’s just my intrinsic makeup of hating everything. But I still love clothes. I just don’t necessarily like the ones that I see available at the moment.”

ON AFFORDABILITY…

“I was really trying hard to restrain myself so that it would hopefully end up more inexpensive than it actually has become in the end. I don’t think people realise how much it costs to actually get the clothes made, unless you’re making, like, enormous quantities and you can get them made cheaply in some country. Making everything in London is just incredibly expensive. So no, it’s not as inexpensive as I would love it to be, and I’m slightly realising that it’s pointless. It’s a pointless restriction to put upon myself, so I don’t think that’s something I’m really likely to achieve anytime soon. So… for the future, going into the future, I’m not going to have that as my primary starting point, and I won’t let myself be restricted by that. Hopefully I can make nicer pieces since they aren’t cheap, either. I mean, the t-shirts are still relatively reasonably priced, but I wish I could make the dresses a bit more affordable. But they’re not.”

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ON DRESSING AS POWER…

“I’m interested in dressing as pleasure and pleasure as power. Obviously I don’t ever sort of buy into the idea of power-dressing in a traditional sense. I think it’s like an armour, and it’s a different, subjective thing, like what you feel that way in. I guess hopefully there are people who feel the same, and I feel like dressing as power in that way.”

ON TAKING PICTURES…

“I’m interested in taking pictures because making clothes is such a slow and boring process, like it takes such a long time, and in a way it’s like literally just a dress at the end. But making pictures, I can visualise something in my head or get something out from inside of me in a much more immediate way in a way that I can control much more than anything else. The shows I used to do used to be my imagery, I just didn’t take the picture – they were just whomever took the show pictures, but I controlled the environment and the looks. Everything. But now I guess, having a control over the image and frame of the image… I just really like it.”

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ON THE DEMONISATION OF FEMININITY…

“Things that are gendered as ‘girls’ things — or attributed to ‘femininity’ — have always been and unfortunately remain trivialised in our society. Girl people and femmes are treated as silly and less than equal, and things like clothes or fashion are viewed as frivolous equally so. Girl people are still taught in society to be quiet and attractive, i have always been interested in turning that inside out. As a ‘boy’ person i grew up in an environment that stoic masculine ‘strength’ meant not having feelings, or desires. To have attraction to things of an aesthetic nature — or even wear deodorant meant i ‘should have been a girl’ in a derogatory manner. It’s always felt totally ridiculous to me. I have always been interested in using the perceived language of ‘femininity’ ie-pink or frills or ‘prettiness’ — but changing its meaning.”

Blue Roses is available 13th of July from Dover Street Market and MatchesFashion.com

Words by Ione Gamble. Images by Edward Meadham.