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Tough and soft make for an intriguing mix at Edun

The Edun Spring 2013 collection is modeled during Fashion Week, Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012, in New York. The Edun Spring 2013 collection is modeled during Fashion Week, Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
By Jocelyn Noveck
Associated Press / September 10, 2012
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NEW YORK—One doesn't usually think of a harsh military green as a color that will come off well on the fashion runway.

But at Edun, the label founded by U2 rocker Bono and his wife, Ali Hewson, the color is used by designer Sharon Wauchob to embody toughness. Along with designs like a camouflage print, cargo pants, and utility vests, it's part of a protective "outer layer" that envelops softer, sexier items in fabrics like silk and chiffon.

"That's the duality of the Edun girl -- soft but edgy," Hewson told the Associated Press after the show. "This time, we wanted to take the intimacy of the bedroom out to the street. So for example you have cargo pants -- but in silk."

Also seen frequently in Edun's Spring/Summer 2013 preview Saturday, held in a cavernous space next to a huge post office on Manhattan's west side, were crochet patterns, meant to reflect urban grids. Hewson said the crochet items were among her favorites for a special reason. "They're done by the `crochet sisters' -- an order of nuns in Kenya that we've been working with for four seasons," she explained.

Edun was founded in 2005 by Bono and Hewson to promote change through a trading relationship with Africa. Of the 39 outfits displayed in the current collection, 18 included garments that will be produced in Africa or made from fabrics sourced there.

As befitting a label headed by a celebrity couple, the Edun shows are big draws for fellow celebs, often musicians. On Saturday, singer Alicia Keys was on hand, as well as R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe. Also there: actress Gina Gershon, and actor/singer Reeve Carney, of "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" -- the Broadway show with music by Bono and the Edge, of course.

"I love sexy clothes, so this was good for me," Keys said after the show.

Gershon said it had "lovely nice flow to it. And I love what the company stands for."

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