Cecil Beaton. Erdem AW20

Erdem’s autumn-winter 2020 collection brought old-school glamour fit for a modern-day dame. Learning that “Beaton, Bright Young Things” – a show of Cecil Beaton’s twenties and thirties portraits of dazzlingly glamorous socialites – is opening at the National Portrait Gallery (co-incidentally the label’s frequent show venue) in March meant that Erdem Moralioglu’s inspiration was right there. Some of his takings from Beaton were literal. Look one – a black slicker mackintosh – was directly in honor of a photo of the aesthete Stephen Tennant. And then there was a direct replication of the pearl-festooned flapper dress, look 30, “in which Beaton photographed himself,” said Moralioglu. Tissue lamé and silvery lace dresses ensued. There were also black and white checkerboard prints inspired by Beaton’s early backdrops; echoes of the celluloid frills and fancy-dress rose-strewn brocades; and a nod to the Pierrot pajama suit that was one of the photographer’s role-playing costumes. But if not knowing any of this, you can as well place this collection on the list of season’s best eveningwear. The lime-green, silk dress with subtle floral embroideries worn by Grace Bol is my ultimate favourite.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Tina Modotti. Erdem SS20

This season, Erdem Moralioglu‘s collection was inspired by Tina Modotti, who photographed Mexico’s sights and people’s daily life, simultaneously participating in bohemian circles with Mexican intellectuals and artists such as Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Erdem characterized his spring-summer 2020 muse as “a romantic and revolutionary, a woman of principle. Each outfit was like a postcard from a part of her life.” The pictures of Modotti’s life were the main reference behind Erdem’s voluminous, vibrant proportions, the exaggerated shape of yoke blouses, hand-made floral embroideries and the gorgeous fringed shawls. “It was the waistless-ness, tiers, the combination of Victorian dress and traditional dress that interested me,” he said. The season’s colours appeared to be as bold as the silhouette. Erdem had spent time at the Casa Luis Barragán in Mexico City, which already suggests the palette: the amazing, saturated cardamom, yellows, and pinks. Stunning.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Vibrant. Erdem Resort 2020

Erdem’s resort 2020 lookbook was a collaboration with Ibrahim Kamara, a London-based stylist, who’s best pals with Madonna. They worked together with the photographer Sam Rock to create the sense of vibrance, energy and motion in the poses of the girls as they work their typically Erdem floral prints, billowy sleeve and headwraps. There’s more: over-sized bows, printed tights to match dresses, and polka dots (lately favoured by previosly mentioned Madonna, who wears the ones from Erdem while promoting Madame X). What stands out most? The ethereal, yellow gown, all embellished with floral motifs. Just beautiful.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.