Images: The Erdem Resort 2022 Collection is an Homage to the New Englishness
Erdem Moralıoğlu was born in Montreal to a Turkish father and English mother, went to university in Quebec and Toronto, and lived in New York…but ultimately ended up in London in 2006, where he launched his eponymous fashion label Erdem to much acclaim. Now sixteen years later, he is paying right and proper tribute to this very new idea of Englishness, one that has continued to influence his designs, with his cooly elegant new Resort 2022 collection.
A refined, 19th Century romanticism is an overarching aesthetic doctrine, with subtle to spirited floral embroidery patterns on slip dresses and loose fitting Georgette dresses. Mohair cardigans feel elegant and punky and once, and a dress constructed of panels of men’s ticking stripe shirts adds a touch of cheeky modernism. Equally ingenious is a cable knit cashmere roll neck that is both scarf and cape at once, as practical as it is provocative. But sumptuous tulle dresses are unabashedly trad and feminine – and, of course, fancifully English.
No surprise, the campaign and the accompanying collection film play perfectly to stylistic theme. Both were actually shot in London’s Trafalgar Square (which dates to the early 1800s), and there is undeniably something of the Brideshead Revisited about it all – especially the mellifluous but melancholy piano and haunted strings that provide the soundtrack. Yet it also feels utterly aware of our most contemporary and wider reaching notions of life in 21st Century England.
One is reminded of a recent quote by Sunder Kutwala, Director of the identity and integration think tank British Future: “The fact that we can’t define Englishness means we can still create it depending on what we want it to be. That very nebulousness has enabled the English to absorb new cultures and influences with fluid ease.”
And in the case Erdem, look quite good doing it.