With a stellar instinct for what women want, Erdem Moralioglu is a genius who designs powerfully feminine pieces that transcend the seasons. We talk to the man who dresses everyone from Alexa Chung and Emma Stone to Michelle Obama and Samantha Cameron.
ON HOW IT ALL BEGAN...
I studied at the Royal College of Art which was an amazing experience; one week we would have Alber Elbaz as a guest speaker, the next it would be Wolfgang Tillmans. It allowed me to explore who I was as a designer. Before I graduated I did a three month internship at Vivienne Westwood and then briefly moved to New York before coming back to London to launch my own collection. I always wanted to work for myself, I just didn’t quite know how I was going to do it. I entered a design competition for a studio space and I ended up winning it. It was tiny, around 200 square feet but it was a space with an address and a phone number. That’s where I designed my first collection.
ON HIS DREAMS AS A DESIGNER
In a strange way my dream is to continue doing exactly what I’m doing now. I love what I do. I would also one day like to design the costumes for a ballet.
ON HIS DESIGNER CRUSH
Yves Saint Laurent. He was an amazing colourist and a genius at what he did. He created an amazing language that I think is still very influential.
ON HIS STARTING POINTS FOR AW15
The initial idea came from when I visited Frieze Masters and saw Robin Browns installation, The Collector for the Helly Nahmad Gallery. Robin created the apartment of a fictional art collector, living in 1960’s Paris. I loved the idea of creating an environment that explained the story of the character; who she is, where she is in life, how she’s feeling. It was interesting to have not only the clothes formulate her character but also her environment.
My character for Autumn Winter 2015 was someone like a young Claudia Cardinale or Romy Schneider, trying be an artist or a writer, or get married. She’d cut up things from her grandmothers’ wardrobe like an old ocelot coat and repair it with part of a shearling coat. I wanted it to look as if she has come undone... coming home at the end of the night, ripping off the upholstery from the sofa and putting it on. A sort of faded glamour.
ON THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PRE & RTW
I really enjoy designing pre collections; it’s where I get an opportunity to explore who my woman is, by day, by night. I use it as a place to experiment with ideas but it’s also a very separate collection with its own narrative and story.
ON BEING CREATIVE ON DEMAND
I try to ignore those pressures and worries. My approach is about a narrative, it’s about a story. It’s always about this woman, and who she is, and what’s happened to her, and what’s about to happen to her next.
ON THE ERDEM WOMAN
The Erdem woman is someone who is beautiful, strong and intelligent. She marches to the beat of her own drum.
London is constantly inspiring me as well as being my home. It’s an amazing colourful place and a catalyst for so many things such as art, music and design. I love showing here.
I love my neighbourhood, I live in East London. I also love the Victoria & Albert museum, the Cast Courts especially; it’s a wonderful place to simply sit and watch. Donlon books on Broadway market is one of my favourite places. It’s a bookshop run by my friend Conor; he goes on regular trips to Japan and brings back amazing books.
ON BALANCING WORK & LIFE
I love what I do and so in many ways my work and life are one and the same but being with lovely friends is good and dancing on a table once in a while is also good…