Tonie Ong

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Articles on Erdem

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Sometimes, going back to classic styles is the best route to take for a fashion house. Fashion has been so fickle in previous years and decades, with one trend usurping the other in such a magnanimous way. However, certain looks and styles have stood the test of time, and no matter how many times they’re reinterpreted, they still look beautiful. There are certain styles and traditions that, to this day, are still cherished by elite clients and mass consumers alike. These are looks that may seem like they’re defined to a certain era but are still regarded as beautiful in any age nonetheless. A lot of designers have capitalized in continually reinventing classic styles, and one of them is Erdem.

The house of Erdem specializes in incorporating Haute couture-like designs and craftsmanship to ready-to-wear. His seasonal collections offer women, some may not be of the upper class but are still able to afford his designs, the feeling of owning a couture piece. His clothes aren’t exactly haute couture, as his house is not based in Paris and is not officially recognized as such by the French government, but his works can rival them. No other young designer of his modern reach and youthful tenacity has perfectly encapsulated the vintage looks and reinterpreted them in modern pieces. Such is the genius the fashion world knows as Erdem.

Erdem Moralioglu journey toward establishing his brand

Photo: the talks
Photo: the talks

Erdem Moralioglu was born in 1976 in Montreal, Canada. He is the son of a British mother and a Turkish father and lived most of his young life in the North American country. He became interested in fashion at a very young age, sketching designs during middle school instead of playing sports. In the late 90’s, Erdem moved to London to intern from Vivienne Westwood, where he worked as an archivist for the renowned British designer. While there, he studied fashion design in the Royal College of Art, where his graduation collection caught the eye of Diane Von Furstenberg. It was under the New York-based designer where he interned again, before opening his own brand in 2005.

Success came quickly to Erdem as he debuted his first collection at London Fashion Week’s Fashion Fringe. He won multiple awards that gave him funds to expand his business, as well as collaborating with various companies to further spread his name. In 2006, supermodel Claudia Schiffer and Julie Gilhart, Barneys New York‘s creative director, wore Erdem at that year’s Met Gala. It was one of the first times high profile women in the industry wore the designer’s creations at a public event. Subsequently, Barneys is also one of the most prominent retailers to carry Erdem items at their store.

H&M collaboration

While he’s not a globally-known brand as a lot of his contemporaries, like Christopher Kane and J.W. Anderson, Erdem is satisfied with the quiet and modest success he’s seen through the years. However, in 2017, the designer collaborated with Swedish-based fast fashion retail giant H&M for their annual high fashion capsule collection. The partnership catapulted Erdem’s name and signature style onto the main stage in fashion, as countries who’ve never heard of nor made available Erdem’s designs finally were able to buy his pieces. The collaboration was made even more prominent with the marketing campaign directed by renowned Australian film director Baz Luhrmann of Moulin Rouge!-fame. While it was fast fashion, the capsule collection all contained the designer’s signature couture touch and sensibilities, from the brocade dresses, floral jackets, and crisp Renaissance-like white shirts.

Stars on the red carpet wearing Erdem

Erdem is known for its classic style, which has enamored women the world over. High profile clients and customers have embraced the unapologetically-classic, vintage, yet still modern approach of the label to beautiful fashions. As a result, Erdem is one of the most worn labels on the red carpet, especially by the women whose style has captured the hearts of many audiences. Through the years, it has dressed the likes of actresses Keira Knightley, Kate Bosworth, Michelle Williams, and Michelle Dockery, among many others. Even prominent historical figures like the Duchess of Cambridge and former United States First Lady Michelle Obama have worn his dresses on one or two occasions.

Notable collections

The label rarely changes their design principles, but that had never stopped them from reinvigorating what is already their signature style. In recent years, his collections have become key shows at London Fashion Week, standing out against a multitude of avant-garde looks if which London fashion is known for. His Spring 2015 was one of the most talked about collections of the season, mainly because of the somber yet refined Victorian-esque take on tropical-inspired couture. His Spring 2018 line was also memorable because it was around the same time his H&M collaborations was released. This collection was inspired by Queen Elizabeth II and had many of the monarch’s signature style tropes, all modernized and given a youthful spin.

Erdem is none like any other in the fashion industry today. His youthfulness harmoniously enthused with his love for vintage style and luxurious textiles, modernizing the haute couture look in a ready-to-wear world.

Erdem RTW Spring 2018
Source: wwd

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