Powder-puff marabou feather jackets tied at the neck with trailing satin bows. Silk linings sprigged with flowers. A hint of ’40s prints and the odd plunging sweetheart neckline, tinselly sequin pencil skirts, and platform shoes or pointy flats, swathed in brocade. Erdem Moralioglu’s between-season shows aren’t shows at all, but they’re even better as an experience if you’re lucky enough to be in the room when there’s one model, popping out from behind a screen in his tiny London showroom, and the designer is there, narrating. “I’ve been thinking about the ’40s as seen through the ’70s,” he said, while pointing out a scrapbook inspiration board that included stills of Bugsy Malone and Bertolucci’s The Conformist, and a photo of the young Paloma Picasso wearing vintage glam, circa 1970.
Storytelling is important to Moralioglu—the thing that always gets him going. But the advantage of a close-up viewing is being able to zoom in and witness his knack for translating the high-flown concept into his highly relatable form of romantic dressing. The trick is that his work is never so styled out that it veers into retro costume. That might mean a beautiful pink brocade dress with a flounced hem, shorter in the front, but whooshing voluminously in back, more rococo than ’70s or ’40s, but gorgeously effortless as a modern party dress. Or a black A-line midi skirt, embroidered with flowers that turns out to be made of leather, worn with a white cotton piqué short-sleeved shirt, which Moralioglu described (jokingly or not) as “practical.”
LONDON, NOVEMBER 28, 2016
by SARAH MOWER – Vogue