According to Erdem Moralioglu, the sexiest part of a woman’s body is her collarbone. His pre-fall collection put it on show: strapless dresses, obviously, but also pieces yoked in sheer organza and provocative PVC. After spicing up Spring with snakeskin, Erdem turned to plastic and leather to give his latest designs the requisite…no, let’s not say wrongness yet again…let’s opt for incorrectnessthis time ’round. That was his word. The need to create a sense of jarring disturbance is clearly an obsession with the designer, like it’s something he requires to balance out his equally obsessive precision and perfectionism. Here, the results were so sophisticated but so peculiar that they left you craving a taste of whatever it was that spiked the punch at Erdem’s cocktail party.
That PVC, for example, mounted with crepe cutouts in a psychedelic Prince of Wales check. Or the sheath in a tensile organza-backed, jeweled netting, vibrating over a black bra and slip. Or the tulle-yoked frock in a navy leather broderie anglaise. Or another dress raw-cut from pink silk, green crepe, and navy lace bonded to create one techno-organic cloth. Erdem’s ever-growing technical acuity was clearest in these odd but unforgettable fabrics. He claimed that was the point: simple silhouettes whose impact was dramatically concentrated on texture and color. One short-sleeved floor-sweeper, shaded in a deep petrol splashed with sick pink, said it all. These were clothes you’d expect to find on the backs of Erdem’s favorite psychological subjects, immaculately collar-boned Hitchcock blondes and their Italian cousin (Monica Vitti in Red Desert). When he veered away from that kind of clarity—with a boxy, angora-collared suit in a lamé tweed, for instance—his hand wasn’t quite so sure. There is, after all, always the risk that obsession will breed excess. On the other hand, excess looked rather splendid in a dress of floral silk crepe overlaid with huge paillettes dyed to match, like giant fish scales.