21 February 2012

London Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2012 Show Report: Erdem

If you are a woman who loves a floral print, then you will forever have a place in your heart, and room in your wardrobe, for Erdem Moralioglu: the British designer who has single handedly re-ignited the fashion world’s passion for a full blown bloom. However, if the sight of a dress garlanded with rosebuds sends you screaming for the safety of studded leather, then Erdem is possibly a pleasure that might heretofore have escaped you.

It is any young designer’s first and greatest challenge to create a signature style that defines him/her and sets them apart from the crowd. Their next greatest challenge is to move their work on from the safety of that place. But, to grow, it is essential to dip your toe in unfamiliar waters. Do it well, and you will bring your loyal customers with you as well as winning vital new ones. To energise a business you have to prove to the world there is more to you than the tried and tested.

Last season I wasn’t convinced that Erdem could do that. The florals and the lace were lovely but they were teetering on the routine. The anticipation of take off from his safe place made this one of the hottest tickets in my schedule. Did he have some more dazzling tricks up his sleeve, I wondered. And could he deliver them while remaining our much loved Erdem. Short answer: yes!

Early combinations of moody purples and black lace applique suggested there was more to this than his usual walk in the park. Sharp inky black tailored shifts hadglittering jewelled collars and understated but undeniablesex appeal. His pretty lace was rendered in acid lime, poisoned yellows and glossy black and finished off with mannish sweaters. A sublime shirt waist dress was worked out in a brushstroke check of chartreuse and charcoal. Shapely shell tops with high collars were styled with skinny cigarettes pants and hinted at some after dark action that his picnic princesses would never have considered.

There was a lot for the Erdem customer here and more besides. Bad girls: it’s time to stop and rewind. You will need to re-think Erdem.

by Paula Reed


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