Bold. Vibrant. Exquisite. These are a few of the many words that have been repeatedly used by fashion critics and journalists alike to describe the designs of London-based fashion label, Erdem.
This relatively new fashion brand was founded in 2005 by half-English, half-Turkish fashion designer Erdem Moraliogu, not long after his graduation from the Royal College of Art in London. Despite being new to the fashion scene, Erdem’s designs have already made a big impact on the fashion industry, due to his innovative method of placing distorted, photo-realistic, digital prints onto classic, feminine silhouettes.
Erdem’s ready-to-wear apparel is also often embellished with materials like lace and embroidery, giving his contemporary, vivacious prints a historic twist and a sense of elegant fragility. The Telegraph’s Lisa Armstrong, describes Erdem’s designs as ‘intensely romantic, unashamedly feminine historical mashups,’ as Erdem combines traditional garment-making techniques with modern-day textile printing.
“I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of creating an object of desire, something that makes you feel like a better version of you.” – Erdem Moraliogu (The Guardian)
In an interview with Australian Vogue, Erdem states that he ‘‘never think(s) about what’s sexy’’ when he’s designing his garments. He ‘‘focus(es) on the silhouettes and the proportions,’’ while drawing inspiration from ‘‘the idyllic Englishness of the TV period dramas.’’ Maybe this is what lends Erdem’s designs their romance, without being ‘’sickly sweet’’ as Emma Elwick, the market editor of British Vogue describes. Maybe it’s because Erdem’s designs acknowledge, according to Emily Zak executive fashion editor of British Vogue, ‘‘that most women, regardless of age or background, want to look beautiful and feminine.’’
Not only have Hollywood’s elite; Keira Knightley, Emma Stone, Nicole Kidman and Gwyneth Paltrow, been seen wearing Erdem’s clothing, but the designs have been seen on royalty too with both The Duchess of Cambridge and Michelle Obama rocking the label.
Even though Erdem’s brand has only been running for 10 years, the fashion industry has already witnessed developments in his style. In his debut Spring/Summer 2008 collection at London Fashion Week, Erdem’s muted colour palette and magnified botanical prints dazzled and wowed the crowds. Erdem further amazed his peers with his Fall 2008 collection, which featured a painter’s colour palette and heavily distorted digital prints. He soon became renowned for his bold use of colour, heavily nature-inspired prints and distinctly feminine look.
However, Erdem decided to challenge the aspects of his designs that he had become well-known for with his Autumn/Winter 2012-2013 collection. He did this by adding a sense of edge and sexiness to his garments, while still retaining their feminine look. He achieved this by muting his floral prints and using predominantly dark colours, like black and grey, and incorporating bold pops of colour, like yellow, purple and fuchsia into his designs.
In Erdem’s latest Spring/Summer 2016 collection, he shocks audiences again by being inspired by Prairie Madness; a condition that many American immigrants experienced in the nineteenth century when they arrived on the American plains. The collection evokes the depression and danger of this period in history in a dramatic and subtle way, while still retaining Erdem’s florally, feminine signature look. Many of the garments are layered and Edwardian-styled, but convey an element of danger, such as with frayed edges.
Images: Erdem SS16 The Telegraph
‘‘My advice to any woman, young or old, is to wear what’s natural to you… Just be yourself. Yourself is a good look.’’ – Erdem Moraliogu
Erdem has already received numerous awards for his unique designs, such as the British Fashion Council’s Fashion Forward award in 2008, the British Fashion Council’s Red Carpet award in 2013 and the British Fashion Council’s Womenswear designer of the year award in 2014. The Montreal-born designer is also currently nominated for two of the British Fashion Council’s 2015 awards: The Brand Establishment award and the Red Carpet award, the results of which will be revealed on the 23rd November.