With high-flown rhetorics of mythical muses and disparate influences, it's seldom you hear a fashion designer - especially a young London designer - talking about what women will actually wear. But Erdem Moralioglu has never really fitted into the neat London box, and the one thing he is obsessed with is providing his girl with a wardrobe for every eventuality.
If Erdem's winter collection marooned her deep in the woods, she evidently found her Prince Charming - S/S 2011 opened with a trio of white wedding frocks, chopped above the knee to give them a youthful insouciance and with a sugar-plum freshness that kept their layers of chantilly lace, tulle and embroidery the right side of saccharine. They may have looked fairytale, but there was a solid business brain behind them - Erdem created his first wedding gown this year, and frankly a bridal line could be in the offing given the sighs these induced. The rest of the collection riffed on the same note: this season, Moralioglu was inspired by Diaghilev, Stravinsky and the Ballets Russes, expressed through subtle touches of brilliant cloisonne colour against more pure white. Those signature prints went slightly oriental to match in lacquer red and jade, and the fabulous Nicholas Kirkwood shoes laced up the leg like a ballerina (another girly childhood fairytale).
Erdem has moved us quite far in the past two seasons, so perhaps he could be excused for resting a little and taking time to refine a few signatures. The nipped-waist full-skirted dress shapes are already recognisably his, while neat cigarette trousers and boxy Sixties jackets were carry-overs from his resort. A new way with fluttering chiffon felt fresh and breezy (figuratively and literally in the case of frothy cape sleeves), and his sinuous long skirts overlaid with lace drew gasps of approval. In fact, scratch that, they were desire, plain and simple and that's indicative of Erdem's approach in general. Rather than shock, he aims to seduce, and with sweetness rather than sexiness. That's just why his clothes stand out and sell out.