February 20, 2011 London
His muse was an artist's wife who flies off the handle, tears apart her partner's canvases, and remakes them as pieces of clothing. With her darkened eyes and disheveled hair, she had a wanton quality that the clothes picked up and ran with. It wasn't just a case of plunging necklines or side slits, it was also the weird fabrics, dissolving tweeds, random patches of sequins, and fabulously collaged colors, like something from Pollock or Twombly (a pair of artists, incidentally, with wives who were a big part of their stories). The dark palette and impressionistic prints also suggested Monet's Water Lilies by moonlight, and even when they flared into flagrant reds and oranges they were still morbidly beautiful, because they were the colors of a crack-up. Erdem's dresses were cut as close as a fifties floozy's sheath, and, seeing as how that particular celluloid archetype was always aching to bust out, his absolute control of his silhouette perversely helped to enrich his theme.
Rest easy, Erdemites, he hasn't totally turned his back on the delicacy that is his signature. But a lace overlay looked less fragile when it was bonded to purple satin. And those famous florals? Impurest fleurs du mal.