From staging to tiny oddball details, Erdem’s Fall/Winter 2015 collection was more than just a typical runway show — it was a play where the clothes were characters. A visit to Robin Brown’s installation for Frieze Masters entitled “The Collector” provided the bedrock foundation of the show. Designer Erdem Moralioğlu was quite taken with the collector’s backstory and the way the imaginary subject obsessed over his treasures, which covered every surface of Brown’s recreated apartment. In order to tell his tale, Moralioğlu had Brown create the stage for the show, and “dressed” his models accordingly. Down the catwalk they came, traipsing past the collector’s clutter in glistening brocade frocks and stunning ombré coats.
Moody, romantic looks launched the show with silk dresses stripped back at the neckline, and velvety frocks made from patchworked pieces covered in floral embroidery. Nighttime forest shades soon took over, expressed in lush greens covered in metallic brocades, while gorgeous outerwear options included an ombré hemline featuring the same brocade details. Jewel-toned coats and dresses were assembled from spliced panels, and upon closer inspection, were revealed to have fraying edges. These small, deconstructed details helped lend a sense of inevitable decay to all of Erdem’s beautiful looks, which underscores the collector theme. A lifetime of obsession cannot stave off expiration. The things we try to preserve will denature over time, no matter our efforts to halt the march of years.
But Moralioğlu isn’t too deeply entrenched in pessimistic philosophy to ignore the present, so his runway continued to produce stunning craftwork. There were leopard coats outlined in shaggy tufts of fur, impressive crocheted dresses that fit like second skin, laser-cut leather looks, and frocks made from an incredible technique that alternated between strips of black lace and strips of dark floral embroidery. Although hemlines were shorter than past seasons, Moralioğlu embraced elongated lengths for his finale, which paired simple ribbed turtlenecks with floor-sweeping skirts cobbled together from blurry prints and wispy feathers. With such a sweeping vision for his presentation, it’s no wonder that Erdem’s work resonated deeply, with echoes from the past that supported a fully-realized character rather than a mere piece of cloth.
Photos: Courtesy of Imaxtree