The Spring/Summer 2022 collection Erdem Moralioglu presented in London this evening was cause for celebration on two fronts: It was the first time Erdem had shown on the runway since the pandemic began, and it was a collection that marked the brand’s 15th anniversary. No surprise, then, that SS22 felt like an encapsulation of all the things that have made Erdem a beloved British fashion house: a reverence for the lineage of Britain’s cultural history, a blend of Edwardian tropes with thoroughly modern tailoring, and a sensibility so romantic that you can’t help but fall under its spell.
The show was inspired by Edith Sitwell, the British poet, and Ottoline Morrell, the aristocrat and artistic patron, both whom were at the epicentre of British cultural life in the 20s and 30s, befriending and supporting the work of writers and poets like Aldous Huxley, Siegfried Sassoon, and T.S Eliot. A recording of Sitwell reading her poem, Astronomers and Gardeners, was played before the show—housed at the British Museum—began. “Together, they encapsulate the city’s fervent spirit which, for me, is an endless inspiration,” Moralioglu said after the show. “Sitwill and Morrell were enigmatic characters who lived on the peripheries between myth and reality. Both were six feet tall, with strikingly sculpted features. Neither was interested in fitting in. On the contrary, they relished standing out.”
Sitwell and Morrell’s influence—and the influence of their era—were evident throughout the collection. Full-length dresses were made in waxed cottons and crushed linens, elevated with hand-stitched crystal beading and embroidered lace motifs. There were patchwork quilted dresses and skirts, anchored with simple leather brogues. A slouchy cotton trench coat finished with large mother of pearl buttons was directly lifted from the wardrobe of Sitwell, while oversized crushed satin hats paid homage to Morrell. It was Bloomsbury bohemia by way of 2021 and—as with everything Erdem has done over the past triumphant 15 years—it worked perfectly.