Africa may be what Edun
's business is about, but it's never played an aesthetic role. That changed this season as designer Sharon Wauchob continued to secure her footing at the LVMH-backed label. "I had sort of avoided it before," she said after the show. "But now I felt I had the confidence to bring Africa in." It was a relatively subtle thing—evidenced in a diamond block print used throughout that Wauchob superimposed with an English floral, as well as shell, bead, and feather necklaces and dangling earrings. In short: the sort of quote-unquote ethnic elements thrown into the casual mix by those cool girls who worship at the church of Isabel Marant. The result was effective. Wauchob begins designing by asking herself what girls want to wear. Certainly one answer is the beachy bohemian little dresses and tops worn with slouchy cropped silk pants and boxy utilitarian jackets—the navy one in look 22 must have been on many a wish list. This was a lighter collection than Fall, but Wauchob insists on maintaining a modern edge, thus the neoprene and grommets, the latter of which felt forced.
However, if black's your thing, our money's on the crochet A-line dress or skirt. Whether you care or not, they're made by Kenyan artisan nuns, like a sub-Saharan Alaïa atelier. Ethical and eco haven't exactly done gangbusters at retail. But considering the company's efforts to keep telling its story—the run of show highlighted pieces to be produced in Africa, now a healthy 37 percent—a change could be afoot.