Intense focus on individual creativity and quality of execution are the driving forces behind this season's London shows. They've propelled Erdem Moralioglu into a place where he could almost be called the Christian Lacroix of London: a super-decorator and colorist who commands print and embroideries in ways that surpass expectations—especially those of someone who is based in the East End. For Fall, Moralioglu's silhouettes were mostly variations on a theme: a short, doll-like, Empire line with a puffed-up skirt. It was a step away from his waftily romantic Summer collection: "I thought, She's not running free and romantic in the meadows this season," he said. "Now she's visited nightclubs and gone home on the bus." Still, it was hard to see followers of Erdem
being less than entranced with the surface details—cutout black lace applied dramatically to red duchesse satin, and stylized red, purple, and black chrysanthemums or tiny yellow violas embroidered by a fellow Royal College of Art alumnus who lives in Brighton and happens to have something approaching the interpretive techniques of Lesage. If all this sounds grandiose and pretentious, the saving grace was that it was all designed within the sphere of a young girl's mentality. Toward the end, though, there was a passage of long, slim dresses with long sleeves strong enough to make several grown-up women in the audience take notice.