December 19, 2011 London
The colors really told the tale. That orange was fused with yellow in a hectic floral that looked like agitated lava on the background of a black crepe skirt. It reappeared as a lurid lace appliquéd across a dress in tobacco-shaded wool. Equally outré was the combination of chartreuse and royal blue, as a silk cardigan over a dress, or as lace of one color appliquéd on a dress of the other. Imagine either of those outfits as a same-y symphony of tone-on-tone and it was easy to see how the politeness would veer into dull propriety. But Erdem has triumphed over the fine line yet again with his instinct for the rightness of wrong. It's even started to look commercial on its own terms—again, it didn't take much to visualize the mass appeal of a tobacco-toned trench in waxed cotton with a smattering of black lace overlay. It also helped that the designer confidently steered his cocktail dressiness—another longtime signature—toward a more casual daytime attitude. All in all, a stimulating appetizer for Fall.