There are occasions when you need to choose outfit that is, shall we way, straightforward. If you’ve got an important board meeting, for example, a show-stopping look is probably not what you’ll decide to wear. However, if you’re like most women who love fashion, you’ll also appreciate individuality even when keeping it business-like. In those environments, adding a little flair can show your personality.
At Hanna Edwards, we create beautiful shirts that last a lifetime. Which means our go-to style is timeless classics. But we’re always looking for new ways to create a point of interest. A touch of velvet on the placket, for instance, or a rounded collar on an otherwise typical white shirt. Each of these small details adds an extra layer of sophistication.
My mother was an excellent seamstress and I grew up in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan and part of the Silk Road, where artisans created exquisite embroidery or hand-painted textiles as part of their craft. For some of them these were skills that had been passed down for generations. The beauty of garments created by hand and importance of preserving tradition has always stuck with me, so when I began designing shirts, I also started thinking of ways to bring beautiful traditions to some of them to create unique and sophisticated designs
The results can be seen in my batiste and silk shirts – in both blue and black – that include finely detailed lace insets in the sleeves. We have a single, incredibly talented supplier who crochets each of the pieces to be inset by hand. This ensures each measure of lace is consistent, and the patterns match for each shirt. We also protect the integrity of the lace – and the small row of pleats that separate each panel – by sewing each inset into the sleeves by hand. Of course, there’s a lot of work to create each one, so this is one of my limited-edition styles.
Of course, it would be easier, faster and cheaper to do all of this using machines, but not only would the final product not be nearly as good, but I wouldn’t be playing my part in ensuring these traditional handicrafts are preserved for generations to come.
In seasons to come, I’ll be searching out other ways to add presence to the designs I create, and part of that will include looking back to see if there are other beautiful crafts I can incorporate in them. When we utilise these traditions we not only save them for future generations to enjoy but also create elevated style that will never date.