Loup Charmant Fashion Designer Kee Edwards: FW’s Friday:5ive

It seems as though I’ve known Kee Edwards — the multi-talented visionary behind the airy organic cotton collection, Loup Charmant — all my life. She could be the blonde twin sister I always dreamed of having during my childhood. The one who got me, really got me (of course, she really does get me in real life). The one who would grab you gently by the hand and drag you down to make mud pies at the edge of the ocean’s waves on a sunny summer’s day or play paper doll dress up in the dust-infused light of the floral wallpapered attic, all while holding an enlightened conversation about the origin of the world. Of love. Of light. Of ourselves.

the positive kee edwards

We share such similar touch stones: growing up in the South, Charleston, the beach, DNR, fashion, Polo, animals, nature, image fascination, photo shoots, words, spirituality, health + wellness, love of a well-pulled-together outfit, pleasure of the hunt for the perfect aesthetic piece, the desire for good friends who will always be there just when you need them.  I hired Kee many years ago at DNR and her quick smile, her super positive outlook, her glow, her can-do attitude and, really, just her specialness made her irreplaceable. We became fast friends. Granted, we haven’t always been able to have a day to day existence together; there were times she moved away to Miami or Vermont and we didn’t speak for great lengths due to space and geography. But she’s one of those kind of friends where you just pick up where you left off. You feel compelled to have her creative, stylish nature close at hand, whether you’re dressing together for a Bastille Day petanque jaunt or a Fourth of July country town parade, or just hanging out beach combing for animal skulls or watching a watercolor sunset slide behind the Statue of Liberty from Red Hook; she’s an amazingly fun and sensitive human-earth-animal loving individual.

Kee’s collection is a gorgeous rendering of what vacation would be if it could be created out of cloth. I have never been prouder of a friend than when I learned that Loup Charmant was going to be selling in Barneys or when Steven Alan showroom chose to represent the collection. Kee’s generosity of spirit, her kindness to all sentient beings and her clever loving way of living is an inspiration to me. And should be to us all. Luckily, I’ve had the chance to work amidst the magic of her creations, helping out on her lookbook photo shoots (such fun), wordplay for the website, sample sales and such.

Thankfully, we were finally able to snag the lovely Kee for FashionWhirled’s Friday:5ive this week. Please read on … and be inspired.

FashionWhirled:  what role does design, especially fashion design, play in your everyday life and when or what was that first moment that you knew you would become deeply involved in fashion?

Kee Edwards/Loup Charmant:  design is a huge part of my life & my days, especially when i’m thinking about and prepping the next collection for Loup Charmant.

Loup Charmant SS 2013

Even in my down time, I’m a huge image junkie – always looking through and sorting design and styles. For me though, it’s the anthropological aspect that keeps drawing me in. Less about a design, and more about style…  how we as humans express ourselves in
our dress, our homes, and how we choose to live. I am endlessly fascinated by humanity.
FW:  who is your fashion or design muse(s) and what importance do they play in your career as a fashion designer in particular and as a person in general?
KEE:  myself, my ideal self, my friends.

Kee Edwards in Loup Charmant

It’s a woman I see in my travels or a man i see on the street.
This past season all began with a faded vintage photo of a woman on vacation on the coast of Italy in the 60s.

vintage Amalfi coast vacation photo

There was an overwhelming sense of ease and a feeling of a simpler time. Life somehow better… That’s so inspiring,
and I love the aura of mystery… Not knowing someone, but being inspired by my sensing who they are in their soul.

Kee in LC

FW:  if you could have any notable person – dead or alive – wear your Loup Charmant clothing collection, who would it be and why?
KEE: my grandmothers.
FW:  what is your favorite piece of clothing that you own now or have owned ever going back to the first fashion thing you can remember?
KEE:  3 things came to mind. like rites of passage:
1) my wedding gown of course. marrying my husband was the best decision i ever made, so there’s so much energy infused in that dress

Wedding gown/the gesture

2) a tie dye outfit i wore in grade school was hyper cool and reminds me of my first best friend. there’s a lot of talk about first love, but first friendships are also so amazing!

Après ceremony

3) my first pair of Levi’s. this was the first piece of clothing i lusted for in such a huge way, they were just so cool & tomboy in the 70s
that marked my “getting” fashion & loving the personal expression of it.

Loup Charmant Spring/Summer 2013

FW:  what are your words to live by, for example, if there was an affirmation or quote  or sentiment for you as Loup Charmant and as a designer or as an individual, what would that be?!
KEE:  don’t complain, don’t explain.  –  wish i could teach it to all the young people who’ve worked for me :)
Count your blessings – Literally! – in noting the positive in our lives, we guide our lives toward more positivity
I love this one::
There’s a story of Mother Teresa’s that I love….
She was invited to attend an anti war rally & her response was something like this:
I will never attend an anti war rally. But as soon as you have a Peace rally, I’ll be there.
This is so important. You get what you focus on.
Fighting against something is futile, because while you’re holding that thing in your consciousness,
it can only stay with you.

kee in stylish, pensive thought

Go within.
Honor yourself.
dwell in possibility. – emily dickinson
Hip Hop saved my life.

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