This is Erdem Moralioglu‘s second menswear season, and his vision of the Erdem man becomes more refined and clear. Handsome, young men standing in an English country garden, against beds of succulent purple and yellow flag irises. With his cinematic eye for glancingly historical biographical references, Moralioglu almost conjured a reincarnation of an everyday scene from the country life of the painter and plantsman Cedric Morris. It was shot at Benton End in rural Suffolk, Morris’s home from 1939, where he created a microcosm of an artistic avant-garde bohemian life with his lover Arthur Lett-Haines, as well as founding an art school. Lucian Freud was an early pupil. Cedric Morris, it turns out, was a friend and supplier of the society florist Constance Spry, who designed the Queen’s Coronation and who had her highly successful shop a few doors down from where the Erdem flagship is now. Connie Spry and her aristocratic clientele are all over his collection. There’s nothing like a romantic coincidence to get Moralioglu going. This one was a pure gift in terms of the colors he loves, inspiration for his boyishly foppish sense of style all the way through to the floppy, blowsy bow ties which seem almost like blooming corsages picked from Morris’s iris beds. The idea for digging into this aristocratic alternative history had actually hit him a little while ago at a Cedric Morris exhibition at the Garden Museum. Even without knowing a thing about this artist, though, you can sense the spirit of the 1940s that Erdem picked up in photos and paintings: Englishmen in hand-knitted sweaters, tweeds, shorts, and silk dressing gowns.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.