Erdem Moralioglu loves a narrative, and for AW15 he had started with a room — an installation, in fact, created by Robin Brown for Frieze Masters entitled The Collector. Brown’s piece imagined the living quarters of a fictional collector, piled high with papers, books and priceless art. So inspired was Erdem by this piece, he asked Brown to produce a set for his show. “I was fascinated to create a character through environment as much as through the clothes,” Erdem explained backstage of the clothes he used to “dress” Brown’s set.
Take away the looping soundtrack from La Dolce Vita, the whiny string accompaniment and the slatted-blind-effect mood lighting, however, and the collection was less melancholy than it first seemed. The bright brocades in metallic green and pink, and rich upholstery fabrics (lots of them around this season) could have felt positively sunny in another milieu.
Look closer, though, and the hems were frayed and raw; there were other small incongruities to convey the sense of faded grandeur. “I imagined women like Kim Novak in Vertigo, Romy Schneider and Claudia Cardinale, coming home every night, in her riding boots, or her grandmother’s gown,” he continued of the show, grabbing a handful of lace tulle with which to emphasise the make-do-and-mend aesthetic. “She might have ripped up some upholstery to make a ball gown, or repaired an old ocelot coat with bits of shearling.”
So much back story for a few pretty dresses. But these evening looks (Erdem had ditched the sunglasses when he realised his show was emphatically set at night) were infinitely wearable and very commercial.
Brocade is unquestionably enjoying a renaissance after Prada’s dedicated show last season. Here the weaves popped with colour and vitality. The cuts were easy, the pockets slouchy and the clothes flattering. The lace dresses in bold black and red were immaculate, and the degrade camel coats, fading into bright greens and pinks, highly desirable.
After so much length last season, Erdem had lopped the skirts at the knee and created a pretty trapezoid silhouette that would suit almost anyone. And, of course, there were polo necks.
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