The designer shifted his thinking this season, looking to his family’s history — real and imagined — for inspiration. The Canadian-born Erdem Moralioglu, whose father was Turkish and mother English, envisaged a meeting between his great-grandmothers, Ada Stephenson from England, and the other from Turkey, near the Syrian border.
“It would have been an odd exchange,” admitted the designer, who filled his mood boards with a mix of English florals, Ottoman miniatures and images of sultans and The Royal Scots regiment, of which his great-grandfather was a member.
It was one fertile fantasy, and the result was an opulent and romantic patchwork of pattern, texture and delectable colors such as saffron, eggplant, emerald and chocolate.
Long silk dresses with velvet-edged sleeves blossomed with embroidered flowers, while others were fashioned from lilac or mint lace. Some had black ribbons at the neck or little white ruffles at the shoulder. Turkish carpet patterns spread across long panne velvet dresses, while clusters of diamanté winked from a dark astrakhan swing coat and from a chocolate, rose and black patchwork fur.
For evening, there were sequin and devoré velvet gowns, brocades and a trove of gold metallic embroidery. A culture clash? More like a rich family drama. Here’s one more question: What took those two sophisticated ladies so long to meet?