Men’s – Utilitarian Romanticism. Erdem AW22

In his second menswear collection, Erdem Moralioglu goes for streetwear – something you never see in his often dramatic women’s offering. “Utilitarian romanticism” is how the London-based designer summed up his newest creative venture. He has a point: in a world where people wear couture-house joggers to dinner, and even Moralioglu surrenders to sporty dress codes, streetwear is really just daywear. “It’s a boiled fleece hoodie with a tailored, nipped jogger,” he said of the collection’s most informal look, describing those garments exactly like he would his ladylike womenswear. But unlike that womenswear Erdem’s men’s world has a relaxed, almost light-hearted quality about it. The designer has been living in the spring men’s collection since he received the first pieces, and, as he confirmed, “it’s very personal.” While the first collection only started to arrive in stores in November, his recipe of ravishingly-colored knits, corduroy, and printed denim has seen great response from the yet-to-be-defined Erdem men’s customer, and has gone down well with his trusty female clientele, too. This season, he took inspiration from the work of two women, who may as well have played muses to one of his women’s collections: Madame d’Ora, a Viennese portrait photographer and contemporary of Picasso, and Madame Yevonde, a portrait and still-life photographer who worked in London around the interwar era. Together, their subjects, grading techniques, and the latter’s use of color inspired a 1930s-driven collection, which borrowed from the women’s wardrobe of the time, and fused those references in Moralioglu’s contemporary “utilitarian romanticism.” What emerged through Moralioglu’s second menswear proposal was a men’s wardrobe of conventional contradictions: feminine vs. masculine, formal vs. informal, Old World vs. new world. Those dichotomies are hardly new territory in menswear, but through the lens of Erdem – with all its history and romanticism – this menswear brand already feels unique and familiar in a way that gives it a character of its own on a very saturated market.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Festive Guide: Shine Bright!

Prada autumn-winter 2021

This holiday season is going to feel extra-special ­for many after last year – and getting dressed up is all part of the joy. This gift guide is for those who love to sparkle – and are planning to shine bright the entire 2022! A pair of golden Manolos will please any Carrie fan (hello, And Just Like That premieres on the 9th of December!), while the sequinned, faux-tie-dye pants from Ashish will be the best present for a glamorous home-stayer. Paco Rabanne’s metallic chain-mail skirt will elevate any New Year’s Eve to a Studio 54 event. And how about a camp-y Judith Leiber poodle clutch? Checked. Still, the award for the most glistening and over-the-top present goes to Prada’s bucket hat that went full-on Christmas tree. Discover my first festive guide below – and stay tuned for the others that are coming in the next couple of days!

From left to right, top to bottom: Coperni purple glittered mini-dress, “Astrology. The Library of Esoterica” Taschen book, Rosantica gold-tone crystal hair clip, Magda Butrym single crystal star brooch, Prada sequin bucket hat, Prada crystal block-heel slingback pumps, Alan Crocetti gold & pink ring.

Dries Van Noten fringed lamé top, Paco Rabanne silver mini shoulder bag, Paco Rabanne silver sequin midi-skirt, Saint Laurent crystal bracelet, Prada platform booties.

Dries Van Noten feather-trimmed sequined skirt & Erdem black embroidered bag.

Jiwinaia pearl earrings, Balenciaga pinstripe midi dress, Versace platform heels, Coperni swipe bag, “Witchcraft. The Library of Esoterica” Taschen book, Paco Rabanne crystal bracelet.

AREA crystal-embellished jersey t-shirt, Mary Jane Claverol embellished turban, Judith Leiber Couture French Poodle crystal-embellished clutch, Ashish sequined pants, Manolo Blahnik “Kika” golden stiletto pumps.

Prada autumn-winter 2021

All collages by Edward Kanarecki.

P.S. In this post, I happen to endorse products I genuinely love. If you end up buying something through the links, my site might earn an affiliate commission – which is always nice!

TASCHEN

Blooming Garden. Erdem SS22

Ever since Erdem Moralioglu moved into his new house in Bloomsbury during the pandemic, his work has taken on a more demure and sober character. Somehow, the fusion between that sensibility and the old-world glamour that underpins his oeuvre feels appropriate for now. Dramatic, but with balance. Erdem’s 15th-anniversary collection – and first runway show since the pandemic – captured that dichotomy in a purified and clarified ode to his own body of work. Presented in the colonnade of the British Museum (in Bloomsbury), he envisioned it through the wardrobes of Bloomsbury’s best: Edith Sitwell and Ottoline Morrell, whose spirits he could easily have come across on one of his evening strolls across Bedford Square. “I was really fascinated with these two women – both six foot – who knew each other, and donated to the British Museum,” Moralioglu said backstage, highlighting their independent and formidable approaches to life in the early- and mid-20th century. “Both women lived outside of the time that they actually lived in: Ottoline Morrell dressed in kind of Edwardian dress in the 1930s, and Edith Sitwell would wear something kind of medieval. They were displaced and disjointed in terms of time and pace,” he observed, with words that could have described the last 15 years of Erdem collections just as well. Throughout his own history, he has freely and defiantly traveled the annals of fashion history at large, spinning fantastical narratives around characters and events drawing on fact and fiction, and brought those looks into contemporary contexts. This collection was no different. While its silhouettes were carved from the first half of the previous century, Moralioglu twisted them out of their prim lines and switched opulent fabrics for “poor” ones, using instead embellishment as his richness factor. A delicate floral embroidery curled around dresses looked almost like an industrial chain print, quilted floral skirts were kind of wrong but cool, and lace dresses transformed into knitwear de-prettified that girly trope. Styled consistently with unfussy brogues – and showed alongside the terrific sturdy-romantic menswear he launched this summer – those tactics created a sense and sensibility that spoke to that post-pandemic appetite for the gentle grand gesture.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.