Sunday, November 7, 2010
Designer profile: Erdem
During London Fashion Week I discovered the ready-to-wear line Erdem established in 2005 by Erdem Moralioglu which can best be described as blurry, digitally manipulated floral prints, silk and lace, echoes from the past but modern at the same time. And unusually for a designer, Erdem's sizes go up to a 16. Which he comments like this: "It's a great thing when you see a dress you have designed and it works in different ways. It's one thing to design a size eight catwalk dress, it's another to make sure that dress will proportionally fit someone who is a size 16. And who are the women who buy designer clothes? If you're buying a dress for £4,000, chances are you might not be a size-six, 18-year-old girl."
His career as a designer started in London where he studied at the Royal College of Art. After graduating, he took a job in New York as an assistant designer for Diane von Furstenberg. Moving back to London in 2005 he won the Fashion Fringe competition for young designers, which gave him the chance to show his first small collection. The following season, he sold his full collection to Barney's, the prestigious US department store. He now has stockists in 26 countries.
In March, he won the British Fashion Council and Vogue's first Fashion Fund award to help develop his business. According to British Vogue's editor, Alexandra Shulman, he "has the creativity and application that is needed to become a global business. He makes beautiful clothes that already have a recognisable stamp that is his alone."
You can tell that this Canadian born designer loves London and finds his inspiration on the streets. When asked what encapsulates fashionable London for him, he answers; “Kingsland Road - from Stoke Newington, down through Dalston and into Shoreditch - you see all walks of life. This mix is what makes London so exciting.” And then continues; “London is a city where everything starts. It’s also a city full of secrets, from the beautiful backstreets of Spitalfields to the storage facilities of the V&A. It’s a great place to get lost and that’s inspiring.”