Erdem Moralioglu invoked Saint Laurent's "wrong-rightness" to add some spine to his fourth collection. "I wanted to put things together that didn't go together," he said after a show that climaxed in a mash-up of biker jacket and bridal gown. YSL's contrary spirit also ruled in a color scheme that saw red, pink, and gray stripes defining body-limning little dresses. The master, having once scandalously proposed a raincoat as the suitable accompaniment for an evening dress at Glyndebourne, might even recognize a kindred spirit in Erdem, with his bubble-backed mac in the same shade used for fishermen's sou'westers. (An ongoing collaboration with Mackintosh once again yielded some of the strongest pieces on this runway.)
Of course, it's really much too premature to weight Erdem's budding trajectory with such analogies. His own focus was on his fabricsthe taffetas, silks, and weaves were all custom-made for him. The fan-pleating that fell away from a tiny "biker jacket" bodice or cascaded down the back of a trapeze dress was his way of "allowing the fabric to do what it wants to do." These swinging shapes were better ambassadors for the designer than some of the more fitted pieces or the harem pant silhouette (here, Erdem turned Eden, as in Barbara).
If the Mackintoshes were a winning holdover from seasons past, so were the prints, botanicals blown up and smudged on the computer until they looked familiar-yet-not. A full print dress fanning out from the tight little apex of a halter nudged the Erdem ethos up a notch in sophistication. At the same time, it highlighted the fact that Erdem's work, like that of many of his London peers, thrives in its own slightly surreal little bubble.