Poignant and emotive, Erdem enters the mood of the moment
By Lizzy Bowring
Poignant and emotive, Erdem Moralioglu MBE, entered the mood of the moment, presenting his visually stunning collection today at the British Museum. His show notes captured much with a few words: “Grief is the price we pay for love”, A show dedicated to her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 11. It would also appear poignant or just merely coincidence that in September 2017, Erdem presented a collection inspired by Queen Elizabeth 11.
Erdem Moralioglu’s presentation was full of dignity and poise that commanded no beginning or end for his story of sensitive beauty.
When art, cultural heritage, and fashion combine, the result is deep and stimulating, inspiring designers to enhance the fashion experience. Erdem is no stranger here, his collections are always deep, soul-searching, and refined;
he is the penultimate storyteller who truly understands what fashion should be – where the worlds of Art, History, and Fashion are at one.
According to the show notes, having spent time at the British Museum, the V & A, and the National Gallery, Erdem explored the restoration of art in its finest form, where the dedication required in restoration is based on both emotional and technical creativity. Erdem was inspired by an 18th-century embroidered dress revived with complex tulle, and a damaged 15th-century oil brought back to life, based on a 17th-century dutch etching. For S/S 23, the renditions of these Old Masters paintings were palpable throughout the collection, brought back to life in the superb hand embroideries and prints.
Erdem’s collection was poetic, timeless, and versatile, infused with an intriguing interplay of strength, femininity and beauty that came to life through highly crafted, elegant, and romantic pieces. The production by OBO understood his aesthetic and, skillfully, amidst the glorious columns of the museum, orchestrated models to serenely glide to the music by Natalie Holt that was so evocative of the moment.
The beauty began with the very first silhouette, a black trouser suit draped in tulle and embroidered with garden roses that danced around the hem of the jacket.
The return to nature was also poignant; Queen Elizabeth 11 was known for her passion for gardens. The slip dress in image 2 bore all the signature hallmarks of the designer’s attention to the handmade, the material covered in a spray of delightful florals, and the skirt folding delicately from a ribboned waist. Chartreuse is a strong hue for this season; here, Erdem hand-embroidered one such coloured silhouette in delicate gold flowers that also tumbled from the strapless neckline of the slim dress. Modernity was not too far from the equation with a crafted white cotton faille draped bodice with a pencil skirt in an exploded etched Old Masters’ print.
Femininity was resplendent and came to the fore in the prettiest of dresses, with full skirts, perfect for a garden party. There was not one piece that did not employ some form of unique character.
A boned waist full skirt in raw linen with 18th-century pattern print came crafted in pieced remnants displaying an engineered Old Master’s prints. Or take the detailed bralette worn with a 50s silhouette full skirt – pieced and patched but in the most delicate form. Several formfitting shapes offered a sexiness by their sheer simplicity yet were still adorned with texture. At the same time, the closing dramatic vignette of three regal gowns in white and black displayed an haute couture hand – full-boned skirts and overlays of floral embroidered tulle came as a fitting close to a superb outing.
It must be said that creativity elicits individuality through compelling artisanal intuition, the art of fashion, history, and life experience at all levels.
More than ever, designers are embracing what the world was before us, around us, and the richness it has to offer. In this, Erdem is a true creative. Today, he showcased a sublime and sophisticated collection and one that could not be more appropriate for the moment.