Erdem went for Abstract Expressionism, sending out dresses splattered with print like a Pollock canvas.
Despite the schlepp to Bermondsey - and when it comes to the irascible fashion crowd on the most hectic day of London Fashion Week, that's the equivalent of firmly shaking a wasps' nest - when the first dress hit Erdem Moralioglu's catwalk you understood why we were sat in the new White Cube.
Peggy Guggenheim, and her legendary contemporary art collection, was his muse for Autumn/Winter 2012. The Cubism portion would never be Erdem's bag, and despite predictions, Surrealism was laid to one side. Erdem went for Abstract Expressionism, sending out dresses splattered with print like a Pollock canvas. If that sounds like a leap away from Erdem's usual frill-seeking ways, it was a shock to the senses. But as the first Pollock-frock approached, patterned with something halfway between camo and guano, you realised it was actually layer upon layer of Erdem's beloved chantilly lace. That was extraordinary, and it set the tone for a show where Erdem kicked his aesthetic up and on a notch.
The palette was dark: olive, navy, a sulphur-yellow so jaundiced it almost turned chartreuse and plenty of sickly purple. They were sometimes all spun together, as in the latex-plastered boucle tweeds Erdem cut into chic sixties suits with bagged-out backs and stand-away collars like early Capucci. If Peggy went Scarlet O'Hara and sliced up her 'Drip' paintings to make a dress, you'd get something very much the same. That is, a hardcore art-meets-fashion statement. Erdem's florals were probably more in keeping with what his woman will actually want to wear, but this time they were engineered not only into the jut-skirted shirt-waisters (next to Pollock, the equivalent of a nineteenth-century watercolour), but firmer cocktail-wear, carefully engineered around the body, heightened with plasticised touches such as a rubber overprint outlined with embroidery.
With an aesthetic as well-established as Erdem's - not only in his work, but in the eternal cannon of rose-tinted, garland-strewen femininity of oh, the last millennium or so - the challenge is always to find fresh ground to explore, and to excite your audience. He achieved it. Even if you don't know fashion, you probably know what you like. You'll like Erdem.