Show Report

Show Report: Erdem A/W 15 Womenswear

by Lou Stoppard on 24 February 2015

Lou Stoppard reports on the Erdem A/W 15 womenswear show.

Lou Stoppard reports on the Erdem A/W 15 womenswear show.

Perhaps Erdem Moralioglu was tired of all the comments about his dresses being polite and overtly pretty. He seemed keen to mess them up for Autumn/Winter 15 with some deliberate dishevelment. Ragged luxury has been a trend of late - at the most recent menswear shows Bottega Veneta served up clothing that looked like it had been well-loved and worn for years (think of the carefree battered cords and mismatched shirts and sweaters that truly aristocratic people wear) and for A/W 14 Prada offered 'poor furs' and vaguely tatty eveningwear in homage to penniless artists - some called it 'bleak chic'.

So maybe Erdem was trying to shrug off the connotations of primness that can surround his work. But perhaps he just felt like it was time to bring the clothes down to reality and get them stuck into the mess and muck that fills every day life - junk, clutter, broken bric-a-brac. It's that that made up the set, an homage to Robin Brown's The Collector, shown at last year's Frieze masters, crafted at the show by Brown himself. It smacked not of luxury but of emotion - the things we hang onto even if they're broken or out-dated; practically unusable TV sets, old-fashioned lamps, retro furniture, randoms clippings and letters. Doesn't that same notion underpin the best clothes? We cherish them not because they're perfect but because they have meaning and emotion - they are imbued with memories.

A great party frock - Erdem's forte - can take us back to a first kiss or a great evening out with friends. It's not the precise cut or fit that matters, not the embellishment or the gloss, but the spirit. You got the sense that that was the ethos Erdem was chaneling when he deliberately roughed up his clothing, such as by shaking up a full skirted gown by morphing the top half into a humble black ribbed polo-neck or by using needle-punching - fashion's favourite trick of late - to merge showy jacquard outwear into ubiquitous camel coats; normality mixed with fantasy. You got the impression he'd revelled in mis-treating his fabrics, enjoying the process of messing up and disrespecting his cloth. You saw it most clearly in the way he'd left hems obviously frayed. Did it make the Erdem girl any less beautiful, any less 'pretty' than his usual cocktail-frock-clad filly? No, she still looked ever so attractive in those lace frocks and metallic brocades, but she was a litter madder, a little less precise, and for that all the more intriguing.



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