It's not just because today's venue, the new White Cube gallery space in South London, was so spectacular that you might think the art world serves Erdem Moralioglu well. Last Fall's scenario of the spurned lover who takes fierce revenge on her artist boyfriend was the basis of a breakthrough collection for him. This Fall, his woman had moved on. Now, he said, she buys art rather than destroys it. But she was still a creature of dark, distinctly adult appetites, and that made her—and her style—infinitely more interesting than the pretty-girl Lolita-land that Erdem entered for Spring.
It also offered him some provocative new elements to play with in his ongoing pursuit of the wrong in his work. Black rubber, for instance, the kind you'd buy in a sex shop, but delicately embroidered with lace, or used as a laminate for classic tweed. The proper made improper—so wrong, and Erdem loved how it unsettled him. He mentioned Hitchcock again, but a more appropriate cinematic reference might be Hitchcock's more lurid disciple Brian De Palma, exercising perfect control over random acts of violence. Kind of like Erdem, cutting his pin-sharp little dresses from a turbulent mass of floral print, scattering colored stones across dresses or stringing them around necklines—and making chartreuse and fuchsia his main color accents.
It will be interesting to see how many of Erdem's followers engage in this collection's dialogue between latex and lace. "I want to make my customer feel strong," he said post-show, even if the route he'd chosen was decidedly eccentric, in keeping with Peggy Guggenheim, the cultural doyenne whose style was on the designer's mind when he was working on Fall. Well, the art world hasn't let him down yet.