For a perfectionist like Erdem Moralioglu, evolution is something that has to happen with a subtle touch. After seasons of exploring his dainty, intensely prim Hitchcock blonde, last season’s black flower affair opened the door to a more obscure side to Erdem, which was further let loose for Spring/Summer 2014. With fresh white hydrangeas on each seat and tense live tones of cello and piano coming from the middle of the giant and very bare grey catwalk venue at Central Saint Martins, the designer created a flawlessly solemn atmosphere for his wintery summer collection of ghostly but also faintly virginal black and white dresses. If Moralioglu’s woman used to be conservative or maybe a little purist, this season she was closer to asexual. Slightly brutalist or perhaps masculine elements made themselves known in sliced up skirts, a rigid asymmetrical dress in a coarse texture, and an interestingly awkward shoe, which was neither flat nor high and added a sense of androgyny to the collection. This was further cemented in certain shapeless tops and in the at once long and short hairstyle worn throughout the show.
As a show it was epic; as a collection it was immaculate. But another factor contributed to the new Erdem: it was younger. Just a few seasons ago, the styling of a feather jumper with a translucent black skirt revealing the tucked-in bottom of a shirt would never have happened on Moralioglu’s watch. And for a season so spellbound by florals, wasn’t it interesting that Moralioglu – London’s constant gardener – had chosen to keep his to a discreet minimum? Perhaps, when it comes to the future of Erdem, we have to learn to expect the unexpected.