Erdem Moralioğlu has a penchant for referencing women of a bygone era and this fall/winter collection was no exception. The Canadian-born British-Turkish fashion designer set up his show at the derelict Old Selfridges Hotel that saw guests entering the show space from a discreet door behind the famous departmental store. While his past collections may have been more exuberant, this time he opted for a darker streak that matched the rather haunting show venue.
The collection was of regal glamour and blue-blooded sensibility. The first few looks were a series of neo-Goth rendition of Erdem's usually dainty party dresses, with laser cut lace and pleated collars that looked like Elizabethan ruffs. The model's complexion was ghostly white and her hair done in a petite chignon, although slightly undone. The lace story developed further and manifested as appliqués, loose fit cropped zipper tops and on short sleeved fur coats. It seemed that Erdem was eager to drive the point that the sugary sweet girl was a ghost of the past and has undergone some drastic transformation.
The second half of the show featured styles that were more familiar. Fitted bodices with elegant flare skirts and strategically placed ribbons like Mandarin buttons came in oriental jacquard and lacquered croc, before the collection receded back to more black options. A notable shape were the cocoon coats which had slits on the sleeves to give added movement to structural outerwear.
The key look that stole the show was the contrasting silk jacquard dress in canary blue with indigo florals which stood out against the crimson carpet of the space. The asymmetry of the neckline on the burgundy dress with black crystal embellishments and a similar one in look thirty with tulle overlay were breathtakingly elegant. They were reminiscent of the exposed shoulder in Renaissance paintings that suggested that subject was relaxed and in familiar company.
Erdem Moralioğlu may be fantasizing a time forever gone, but for the short duration of the show that unfolded at London Fashion Week, it felt like the glamour of distinguished, stylish women of the past was rebirthed once again.