Leas clothing is both strong and vulnerable, a resolute form of armour and a soft celebration of the female form. Harnessing this dichotomy is no mean feat and a skill she shares with our chosen author. Colette's work instantly reminded us of Lea and her otherworldly designs that explore and lionize feminine duality.
Although Lea exists in a time very different to Colette’s, her brand retains strong ties to the past. Her new collection All Women Are Witches muses on the implications of witchcraft. Inviting and encouraging her models and artists to celebrate themselves by inventing a ‘coven,’ she subverts the derision that witches or women of difference received by allowing her women to revel in their uniqueness and what makes them dynamic and strong. This radical inclusiveness is central to the identity of Lea’s label where she dresses women ‘who aspire to profound fullness’ as she so beautifully put it. The fluid relationship between fashion and literature is one of endless potency and this month’s collaborators share a fascination with the occult (Colette wrote an arresting story called The Rainy Moon, an overlooked supernatural gem where she discusses the handling of dark magic by which a rejected wife tries to wreak her revenge on an errant husband) along with a deep knowledge on the importance of style. Fashion was a central part of Colette’s legacy, with a revolutionary androgynous but feminine wardrobe that became emblematic in the twentieth century. She was also solely responsible for casting and styling a then virtually unknown Audrey Hepburn, intrigued by her ‘clumsy elegance’, to star in the stage adaptation of her book Gigi and offers a lesson in how a woman can use style to take ownership of her image.
Refusing to homogenize your desires and tastes is the binding legacy of this month’s author and artist whose individual careers are momentous examples of female integrity. Colette’s power lies ultimately in the frankness of her words whilst Lea uses her eponymous brand to shun artifice and design clothes for complex women, helping us realize that embracing your uniqueness is what will make you strong. Both infinitely feminine but with a razor-sharp edge, they balance grace with grit to elevate the multifaceted experience of being a woman in a modern world and show us how true magic lies in accepting and expressing yourself. And dressing like Lea and Colette.