A double rainbow spanned the sky over Erdem’s show, held at dusk on the colonnade of the British Museum. The designer lives nearby and the ghosts of Bloomsbury’s creative women have seeped into his imagination. Edith Sitwell and Ottoline Morrell were his main protagonists. “Both independent of thought and of how they lived their lives,” he said of the pair. The two women were 6ft tall and dressed against the conventions of the day. Sitwell favoured medieval robes and Morrell wore Edwardian dress in the 1940s, which allowed Erdem to mix and play with different eras, which included re-visiting his own back catalogue.
After 15 years in business, he wanted to honour the past as he looked to the future. His fashion Easter eggs include the circle skirts from 2018’s Fanny and Stella collection, and the wedding dress from his first-ever collection in 2006 (“I thought all fashion shows had to end with a wedding dress,” he says of his young self). Looking forward to the next 15 years he said the linen dresses embellished with crystals and pure white cotton pieces felt like a new chapter as did the menswear he showed which he described as a “counterpart” to his womenswear. Mostly, though, he was happy to be able to show at all. “There’s something tremendously powerful about bringing people together to see a body of work. I don’t think film can replace that. Seeing the rustle of something move by is a beautiful thing and the thing that compels me to do what I do.”
Photography courtesy of ERDEM.