December 18, 2012 London
That PVC, for example, mounted with crepe cutouts in a psychedelic Prince of Wales check. Or the sheath in a tensile organza-backed, jeweled netting, vibrating over a black bra and slip. Or the tulle-yoked frock in a navy leather broderie anglaise. Or another dress raw-cut from pink silk, green crepe, and navy lace bonded to create one techno-organic cloth. Erdem's ever-growing technical acuity was clearest in these odd but unforgettable fabrics. He claimed that was the point: simple silhouettes whose impact was dramatically concentrated on texture and color. One short-sleeved floor-sweeper, shaded in a deep petrol splashed with sick pink, said it all. These were clothes you'd expect to find on the backs of Erdem's favorite psychological subjects, immaculately collar-boned Hitchcock blondes and their Italian cousin (Monica Vitti in Red Desert). When he veered away from that kind of clarity—with a boxy, angora-collared suit in a lamé tweed, for instance—his hand wasn't quite so sure. There is, after all, always the risk that obsession will breed excess. On the other hand, excess looked rather splendid in a dress of floral silk crepe overlaid with huge paillettes dyed to match, like giant fish scales.