ERDEM AW23 – London Fashion Week
Michael Meir-Wright reviews the new collection from LFW
One might not expect to find inspiration in redecorating, but for Erdem Moralioğlu peeling back the layers of his Victorian townhouse provided him with a rich new tapestry to draw from. It turns out, his home was once a sanctuary for unmarried mothers, so for his ERDEM AW23 collection the designer paid tribute to these euphemistically titled ‘forgotten women’ and the place that gave them a chance for a fresh start.
Appropriately enough, the 19th century influences were felt throughout. The disquieting creaking of floorboards and footsteps amongst discordant stringed instruments provided the uneasy soundtrack. Deconstructed, asymmetrical bustle skirts, cropped jackets with exaggerated shoulder ruffles, maximalist gloves and floral prints evoked the work of acclaimed textile designer William Morris.
Elsewhere, a recurrent motif of tailored riding jackets conjured the smoky streets of Dickensian London. Concurrently, striking accents of arsenic green mirrored Moralioğlu’s discovery of a similar colour on wallpaper in one of his rooms, and offered an arresting contrast to the muted but refined colour palette.
The spirit of the late Dame Vivienne Westwood also served as a reference point for the story. The designer once interned for fashion’s beloved iconoclast in the early 2000s, and those rebellious undertones underwrote his collection. Jet embroidery disrupted A-line halter-neck dresses and cropped jumpers, while ravaged hems recalled Westwood’s humble beginnings on the infamous King’s Road. AW23 was much a love letter to his mentor as it was to the women whom Dame Vivienne would have undoubtedly loved.
The darkened Sadler’s Wells Theatre was brought to life through the notion of a forgotten past presented with a new and creative modern edge. This was where the parade of so-called ‘fallen women’ were lifted up and revered, rather than frowned upon like in days past.
To read our review of the Ahluwalia show from LFW, click here
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