My work is a reflection of how I see the world. My world is campy, exciting, and sexy. Frequently my collections stem from deep research into the visual language of a subculture, but rather than recreating it, I dig to find the seemingly incompatible. I aim to mobilize the extreme visual contrast and the discomfort that it causes the viewer to challenge the normal and bring excitement back to fashion. The body proportions of the figure are yet another tool to harness my pursuit of the extreme.
The body is a doll for me to play with. In execution, the new proportions pose engineering challenges, requiring complex understructures or novel construction techniques. My extensive millinery experience has gifted me with unconventional ways to create form. Techniques such as blocking and sculpting allow me to construct elaborate, yet precise shapes. This precision is carried throughout the garment and great emphasis is placed on proper technique and execution.
The textiles or materials should continue to tell the visual narrative of the collection. To me, this means combining the incompatible, be it creating fur out of latex, or plaid out of silicone. It is important that these material transformations appear clean and purposeful, which requires vast amounts of tedious handwork.
My work is precise, both in execution and intention. The wearer of my garment should not only appear to others in a way that tells my story but feel the experience that I had intended. This may include the wearer needing assistance putting on or taking off the garment, being unable to move in specific ways, or feeling the sensation of the material on the body. If you look like a horse, I want you to feel like a horse.
In my work, I explore the different manifestations of human character. I am deeply fascinated by both individual pursuits of people and the interaction of said individuals in a society. Specifically, I find the ideas of transformation, sexuality, and discomfort to be a great source of inspiration. My garments play with the idea of transformation, by establishing an overwhelming visual presence forcing the wearer to succumb to its will. My garments wear the people.
Societal taboos are a great tool for injecting the serious with a jolt of whimsy. There’s nothing that quite compliments a pair of jeans like a carrot in the ass.
Discomfort is sexy, the awareness of your body’s position, and the power that comes from owning your decision to be uncomfortable is a key theme in many of my designs. If you’re comfortable, you probably don’t look very good.
I am greatly inspired by the creative minds of John Willie, Thierry Mugler, and John Galliano. In a store, I see my work hanging with the likes of Commes Des Garcons, Thom Browne, and Maison Margiela. Come take a look, if you dare.
Edna St. Louis is an American fashion designer who lives and works out of New York. She received her Bachelors of Fine Arts with a focus in Fashion Design from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2020.
Edna’s garments are campy, exciting, and sexy. They are designed to transform the wearer into a persona of her design. “My garments wear the people”. Her inspiration often comes from deep research into the visual language of a subculture, where she digs to find the seemingly incompatible. “I aim to mobilize the extreme visual contrast and the discomfort that it causes the viewer”.
Edna has received many awards for her designs including Neiman Marcus Distinguished Designer Award, Driehaus Award for Fashion Excellence, First Place, Senior Fashion Council Fellowship, Raymond Hudd Millinery Award, Body Builder Fashion Award, SAIC Distinguished Scholar Award, Morris & Rose Goldman Scholarship, Perry Ellis Scholarship.