Erdem Moralioglu loves a strong female character, and in the past has looked to figures including a young Queen Elizabeth II, Adele Astaire, and the artists Sylvia Fein and Hannah Höch for seasonal inspiration. This time around, he trained his eyes on Dame Laura Knight, the first woman artist to be fully elected to The Royal Academy in London.
He looked both to Knight’s impressionistic paintings and to her personal, boyish style in an elegant collection filled with Forties shapes, lush fabrics, nipped waists, bold prints and embroidery.
He shot the collection at The Royal Academy on Piccadilly, conjuring the woman and her art. Pinstripe suits came with elongated jackets, some of which were belted and paired with cropped trousers. Capturing the artist at work, he whipped up a cotton jacquard boiler suit adorned with big, blooming flowers and a bejeweled collar.
Outerwear was also a marriage of masculine and feminine in the form of a tailored frock coat in lipstick pink and a belted cotton trench awash in embroidered white flowers.
There were dresses galore, for day and night — and different moods — including a hand-pleated, flower print gown with ruffled edges and a pink lace one cinched at the waist with a gold bow. He paired short, ruffle-front flower-print dresses with patterned tights, and pinned feathery scarves and big, floppy bows on the necklines of others.
Moralioglu said he likes putting together a pre-collection “because they force you to turn the page on what you’ve just done — and it’s more about dressing a woman, from the moment she wakes up in the morning.”