One does not need to understand the dramatic backdrop to Erdem’s Spring/Summer 2017 collection in order to appreciate the designer’s work, but when it is understood, it certainly adds a romantic layer to the presentation.
One does not need to understand the dramatic backdrop to Erdem’s Spring/Summer 2017 collection in order to appreciate the designer’s work, but when it is understood, it certainly adds a romantic layer to the presentation. Guests were signaled as to the origins by the set, which featured wooden bridges, pools of “water”, and copies of A La Recherche du Temps Perdu strewn about the venue.
However, it took Erdem Moralioglu’s explanation to make the meaning concrete. Backstage, he spoke of a recently uncovered 17th century shipwreck, which was discovered by the Texel Divers Club. Recovered along with other valuable findings was a trunk containing well-preserved items – including a silk damask gown – thought to have belonged to Jane Ker, a lady-in-waiting to Henrietta Maria, King Charles I’s wife. Ker had been dispatched in secret with some of the Crown Jewels in order to raise money for the Royalist army, but her covert mission was couched in the task to deliver the Queen’s daughter to marry William II. Moralioglu claimed Ker was acting as a sort of spy, which gave him the idea to embed some of his pieces with crystal embellishment, sewn into the clothes like Ker’s jewels might have been. Ker’s mission also informed the frilly Edwardian silhouette of Erdem’s collection, and the romantic Chinoiserie that decorated his gorgeous frocks.
Although some of the looks were historically accurate enough to be considered period pieces, Moriagulu wove modern elements into other looks in order to keep the collection wearable. Among these were beautifully tailored suits with ribbon-tie closures, ethereal dresses with sporty harness-straps, and lightweight frocks spliced with cut-outs and mixed prints.
Sans reference points, this dreamy collection stands on its own.
Eveningwear was elaborately ruffled and strewn with tiny shots of embellishment, but the final looks made from tattered silk damask recalled the dress found in Ker’s trunk, reimagined for the present day in ivory and contrasting bands of black lace. Sans reference points or knowledge of the Wadden sea shipwreck, this dreamy collection stands on its own.