Edward Meadham on returning to fashion & Blue Roses part two

With dresses, corsets, shoes and bags, the London designer’s latest collection goes back to his girly-goth baroque roots – see it here

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Blue Roses Chapter TwoCourtesy of Edward Meadham/Blue Roses

After launching the first installment of new label Blue Roses back in December 2016, Edward Meadham second offering, or Chapter Two, is set to hit stores today at Dover Street Market and Matchesfashion.com. Over two years since his first label Meadham Kirchhoff shuttered, speaking to Meadham, it’s clear he wants Blue Roses to exist in its own context. The new project is its own venture – with Blue Roses’ straight to retail existence removing his work from the no-holds-barred fashion week shows he became much adored for.

That’s not to say Blue Roses exists as something lesser than his previous label. While decidedly less fantastical than Meadham Kirchhoff, the dresses, shoes, t-shirts and stockings that make up Chapter Two still retain the ability to send the imaginations of hundreds of girls into overdrive. With his second collection under this moniker encompassing Hole references, lipstick graphics and heels adorned with flower petal cut-outs, Blue Roses acts as an antithesis to the monotony of our seemingly endless fashion cycle. This time around, Meadham has created clothes to tackle the banality of everyday life in, to obsess over unashamedly, and to celebrate the existence of unfiltered femininity – albeit with an uncanny edge.

We speak to Meadham about the ups and downs of starting from scratch, the state of the fashion industry, and what the future holds for Blue Roses…

How would you say that the second installment is different to the first Blue Roses?

Edward Meadham: Blue Roses Two is more of a real thing. The first one happened so quickly that there was no product range, it was just t-shirts, which is nice, I’m fine with t-shirts, but it’s just kind of ultimately not who I am as a person or as a designer. It was very limited and very limiting, so this is the first one that I actually had time to think about. It’s a step towards it being a proper collection now – in that it includes like different categories – shoes and bags, and just clothes in general in addition to the t-shirts, which will always be there.

What inspired Chapter Two?

Edward Meadham: Well it started with my Christmas crackers, which were late 60s or 70s vintage Christmas crackers that were all really frilly in peach, cream and brown. Kitschy, creamy, apricot-y colours with loads of lace and artificial peach roses on them. I was obsessed with them and I kind of wanted to do something that gave me that vibe. Lately I’ve been looking at Georgian-era portraiture, and generally Georgian fashion. In the 70s, there was a lot of Georgian interpretation in fashion – when I say fashion, I mean including interiors. Quite dirty colours… weird interpretations of similar kinds of colours from the Georgian period. Things like that. So I thought a lot about that, and those influences – the silhouettes and the high-waisted long, three-quarter length dresses.

Right now Blue Roses serves as a retail-only operation. Do you see ever see the project becoming what you consider to be a proper collection, with a show and so on?

Edward Meadham: It’s quite difficult to make collections when they’re so tiny. When I made collection before they were these huge things with shows – it gives you a (space) to really tell a story because there’s so much of it. The way that I think is so juggled up, there are so many different elements. To put that into a twenty-odd piece collection is quite difficult. To operate on a larger scale really is my hope for the future. It just might take awhile to get there.

What would you say have been the highlights and the lowlights of launching the new label?

Edward Meadham: It’s been a financial nightmare a lot of the time. Lots of juggling of things and just generally administration. Most of what we do is not making clothes. It’s organising things. That’s a lowlight, but that’s just life, isn’t it? A highlight I guess is just doing things again. Part of me really missed doing things. It’s good to kind of learn that again because I became very out of that habit in the year and a half that I didn’t make anything.

“Part of me really missed doing things. It’s good to kind of learn that again because I became very out of that habit in the year and a half that I didn’t make anything” – Edward Meadham

People say to me all the time, ‘Oh it must be so refreshing to just go back to the beginning and start again.’ It’s kind of frustrating. But then there are elements of beginning again that are refreshing. If I’m starting from scratch as I sort of am, I would like the past not to be constantly present and brought up. Everybody always asks me about what it’s like to design your own collection. And I’m like, ‘How do you think the old collections were made? Who do you think designed them?’ It’s not really different on that level, except it was kind of easier in those days. But yeah, I mean it’s kind of nice, and obviously I’m not dragging around this albatross around my neck.

Where do you think Blue Roses sits in relation to everything else that currently exists within fashion?

Edward Meadham: I actually sort of hope that it doesn’t have any correlation to anything else. I’m really bored with everything that exists in the moment, and I wish I wasn’t. But I wish I had money to shop, but even if I did, there’s nothing that I’d want to buy at the moment, and that makes me quite sad. I’m a reactionary bitch, so I want to react against everything that’s available at the moment. I want to exist completely outside of everything, really. Ideally.

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