INTERVIEW: FLORENCE PROVENCHER + ISAAC LAROSE
Ideas are contagious and EDEN power corp is here to spread them.
Images: EDEN power corp
After first gaining recognition with his eponymous French-made headwear label Larose, Isaac Larose and partner Florence Provencher Proulx have now founded EDEN power corp. EDEN is less a brand and more an idea that is using the vessel of clothing to present its sustainable alternatives to the world. Working exclusively with natural and recycled fibres, ethical production in North America and even biodegradable, plantable swing tags, EDEN seeks to practice what it preaches, putting together tight and cohesive collections that inform not only the wearer, but those around them, to make more considered choices and the impacts they have.
Ahead of SS21, PRGRSS sat down with Florence and Isaac to discuss what motivates them, and what we can expect next season.
Tell us about EDEN power corp (EDEN) – what is behind the name and where did the brand start?
We launched in June 2019 with the goal of changing the perception of what’s desirable. The name comes from the tension between the natural, biological and the industrial, corporate world. Both have their own utopian universe, but as we know utopian projects never worked. So we’re offering alternatives to reconcile both worlds, since if we want to make things work we’ll have to find a state of symbiosis between them.
Eden appears to be a brand steeped in values – has a set of overarching principles guided things so far? What are some of those principles?
Perfection does not exist
Permanence does not exist
Try to live up to those answers
There’s no end to this path
The journey is the goal
You previously became known in fashion circles for Larose hats. At the time, they gained a following for their attention to detail and craftsmanship. Similarly with EDEN, there’s a real sense of consideration to fabrications, shapes and provenance. How important are these things to you?
Our previous frustration from having worked in the industry and try to apply positive changes within our own supply chain led us to start EDEN. However we’re really lucky to have worked for a decade with some of the best artisans in the field. It trained our eye to appreciate these subtle details of great craftsmanship.
Each season so far has been focussed on an element of our natural world – tell us about SS21 and the inspiration for it.
Every season we work on a specific theme. Solar was first with our launch installation in collaboration with Sunpower. Then we focused on Permaculture for SS20. FW20 is about ocean acidification and restoration. SS21 is Mycelium. It’s a way for us to focus our energy on subjects we’re deeply curious about. We take time to read, watch, listen, dig deeper, learn more and then share what we consider relevant information.
“Our previous frustration from having worked in the industry and try to apply positive changes within our own supply chain led us to start EDEN.”
It feels as though mushrooms are having a moment where they might once again venture into mainstream acceptance; many people are extremely passionate about them and the role they play in expanding consciousness of the world around us. Did your own experiences with entheogens inform any creative decisions this season?
Mushrooms and mycelium are definably part of the zeitgeist. It hasn’t influenced this collection since we wanted to stay away from some of the more obvious references people might have with mushroom. We decided to focus on low-tech urban farming, cordyceps, the possibilities offered by growing mycelium for the productions of items like bricks, wine cooler, planters. The relationship between mushroom and bees and how they can help solve the Colony Collapse Disorder. We also used wild foraged mushrooms to produce a handmade felt hat out of a single mushroom. We felt these aspects would be more exciting.
The lookbook is one of the most interesting settings we’ve seen in a long time. Tell us about where this is and how the opportunity came about.
We shot at the low-tech urban mushroom farm, Les 400 Pieds de Champignons. They’ve been really supportive and immediately said yes when we proposed the idea. Their business is exploding at the moment and they work with all our favourite restaurants in the city.
“Eden is a propaganda tool. It’s a Trojan Horse. Fashion is our field of expertise so that’s how the ideas are applied at the moment.”
The use of the Dune font next season was a nice, subtle reference for lovers of sci-fi – are you looking forward to the remake? (personally, we think the original is pretty amazing as is, even if David Lynch disagrees…)
Dune has a very central part in the EDEN’s universe. We make a lot of reference to it. The author, Frank Herbert was even a speaker at the first Earth Day event. The books are still some of the most relevant ecological work today. Being from Montreal, it is really crazy for us to see Denis Villeneuve working on the adaptation. We’re honestly a bit stressed about it, but we can’t wait to see it.
You’ve collaborated pretty extensively thus far for a young brand, yet most of these collaborations appear to be outside the typical fashion realm. What is it about a collaboration that makes sense to you and how do you choose to partner with certain brands or businesses?
There are many reasons for us to work on collaborations. The first is to build a community of like-minded individuals. It’s a real pleasure to get to meet people you admire and work together. We also like the opportunity of pushing other people to try to work in a different way. If there’s a real desire to do better we want EDEN to be a part of the process.
Do you see EDEN becoming a vehicle for ideas outside of fashion, and if so, what are some of the avenues you’d like to explore?
Eden is a propaganda tool. It’s a Trojan Horse. Fashion is our field of expertise so that’s how the ideas are applied at the moment. But new mediums will be explored, as the corporation grows.
Ideas are contagious and we’re here to spread them. Stay tuned for more.