Tag Archives: Erdem

Exhibition: Ballgowns – British Glamour Since 1950 At The V&A

Vivienne Westwood

Yesterday I was in ballgown heaven as I was lucky enough to attend the press preview of the V&A’s new fashion exhibition – Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950, which is the first exhibition in its newly renovated V&A Fashion Galleries. The exhibit charts the evolution of the ballgown from society-girl to red carpet glamour, and features British gowns from the likes of Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood, Burberry, Erdem, as well as London Fashion Week favourites Mary Katrantzou, Holly Fulton, Mark Fast, and even a specially created metallic leather dress designed by Gareth Pugh for the exhibition.

Gareth Pugh

I have to be honest, the Fashion Galleries themselves downstairs didn’t look too much different to me, they’ve added some cool illustrations and a few new commissions, but generally speaking there isn’t a drastic change; however upstairs is a different story, they’ve restored the gallery to its original architecture with its domed ceilings and added a mezzanine gallery, which really does open up the space.

Downstairs you wander around more traditional gowns, think ballgowns fit for royals, there were pieces designed by Hardy Aimes and Norman Hartnell, and Princess Diana’s ‘Elvis Dress’ designed by Catherine Walker has been taken out of storage. But it was upstairs that blew me away, the impact of the three domes filled with contemporary ballgowns was just incredible, my eyes were instantly drawn to Giles Deacon taking flight, then onto an Amanda Wakely design intertwined with a wooden chandelier prop, and then I settled on Vivienne Westwood’s dramatic gown. The first impression at the top of the stairs is intense, I kind of wish that was the start of the exhibit.

Giles Deacon - spring/summer 2007

There were a lot of gowns I liked, from the bright floral Erdem beauty to the exquisite feathered Alexander McQueen gown that Daphne Guinness wore to the Met Gala last year, and it was nice to see the likes of Holly Fulton, Craig Lawrence, Roksanda Illincic, and Mark Fast being part of the display.

Roksanda Illincic - spring/summer 2009

Jenny Packham gown that Sandra Bullock wore

But my favourites had to be the gorgeous gowns that celebrities have worn on the red carpet: there was Sandra Bullock’s gorgeous Jenny Packham gown that she wore to the 2011 Golden Globes; Ralph & Russo have recreated a crystal-covered dress worn by Beyonce, especially for the display; and Burberry even lent the museum one of the gowns that Rosie has worn. The biggest surprise was seeing Shailene Woodley’s Met Gala dress, designed by Christopher Kane, considering it only took place last week.

I have to admit I loved the exhibition, anything that showcases gorgeous gowns embellished with sequins, feathers, crystals, and made of the most exquisite fabrics gets my vote, I just wasn’t wowed by it all. I loved the way the gowns were showcased upstairs, you could see them from all different angles, and some of the gowns were rotating, I also loved the quirky oversized pearls that were dotted around. The best bit though was that it was nice to see that they hadn’t shut everything away behind glass as you can’t always see all the details as clearly.


Craig Lawrence, Christopher Kane and Ralph & Russo

Roksanda Illincic stands out

Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen

Loved the chandeliers and the domes

Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950 opens on May 19, and runs until January 6, 2013, so no need to rush to take it in, but I would recommend buying your tickets online before you go. Adult tickets cost £10 and entry for students is £7.

Are you excited to see the ballgowns?

**For more images head on over to my Facebook page I have an album full of them**

In Conversation: Colin McDowell Chats With Erdem

Last night I was honoured to attend the last leg of the hugely successful Fashion Fringe road show, where the lovely Colin McDowell chatted with his former student Erdem Moralioğlu at the Royal College of Arts in front of around 200 people. The roadshow has been geared at students and prospective Fashion Fringe entrants, so I was fortunate that the lovely Fashion Fringe team didn’t mind a blogger crashing the lecture theatre as I found the hour-long talk truly inspiring and entertaining, the banter between Colin and Erdem was really charming.

Erdem was lovely and relaxed chatting about his twin sister, who he “respects and admires”, his first flutters into fashion in Canada, the prospect of active service in Turkey as his father is Turkish, the exciting news that he has just bought a house with his partner of nine years who he met while at the Royal College of Arts, how he deals with press, as well as giving an insight into the workings of his fashion label and his career so far. It really did seem that there was no subject off limit.

I have followed Erdem’s career for a number of years, like most women I am consumed with how gorgeous and elegant his designs are, they truly are divine, each gown just has femininity and gracefulness that I don’t think is rivalled by anyone else. It has been a little from the distance until last night, I haven’t been to one of Erdem’s shows, I haven’t seen his designs at a press day, and sadly I have no gorgeous floral prints in my wardrobe, but hearing his lovely story gives me hope that one day all those things will happen.

If you, like me was hoping that one day there would be a H&M, Debenhams or another high street collaboration in the works – think again. “It’s never been the right moment,” said Erdem. “If it works for some people, then that’s wonderful – but it depends on where you’re at. For me, it’s really important to concentrate on your collection and your own work. Once you start looking at versions of your work, it can get a bit dangerous. One can do it really well and in an interesting way though.”

For budding fashion designer’s Erdem’s is a little unconventional, he actually only did one internship, which lasted three months at Vivienne Westwood, which he said “was wonderful” as he was left in the archives with all the lovely corsets. But he did add that the experience did give him “direction”. From the RCA Erdem relocated to New York to be a “design assistant, assistant, assistant to Diana von Furstenberg”, a paid gig that he only did for a year, “I adored New York, but I had no intentions on staying. But it was there that I realised that I had to start my own label.”

It was shortly after coming back to London that he entered Fashion Fringe, which he eventually went onto win, and it was sweet hearing how proud he was of the collection. He also recounted his favourite show the year after winning FF, “The show was at the V&A it was crazy as the catwalk started in the gift shop, and hair and make-up was by the Chinese vases. But I was standing on my own two feet for the first time.”

Since then success hasn’t been handed to him, it took American retailer Barneys to take notice and buy up his collection that really made UK stockists come on board, and now his line is sold around the world in every notable high-end department store from Harrods to Liberty’s. But he did add that “it was hard for the first couple of seasons”, noting that people just remember that Michelle Obama wore his skirt five years ago!!!

As well as discussing his fashion inspirations, his background, and his love of the RCA, he also gave insight into his business. The most amazing revelation was that the majority of the manufacturing is done right here in Britain and how he totally recommends it. I know that is a little geeky of me but I do love hearing that designers like to keep things local.

Everything from the evening has made me want to know more about Erdem – such a great idea from Fashion Fringe to hold these intimate events that I hope that they do a lot more.

**Thanks to Fashion Fringe for inviting me, and I am so sorry for the poor pics – I was so consumed with the conversation I kind of forgot to take any pictures except these on my Blackberry**

LFW SS12: Swarovski Collective Names Designers

I have to admit I am getting very excited about London Fashion Week now, especially after popping along to Swarovski’s Champagne tea to announce which designers have been drafted into add Swarosvki sparkles to their collections.

Sadly, Nadja Swarovski had a few problems with the traffic and didn’t make it on time, but it was still good to catch up with the very chilled J.W. Anderson who was wearing the most amazing trousers, spy Giles Deacon across the packed room, and to check out the jewellery dressing the amazing room at the Haymarket Hotel.

This season’s sponsorship programme will include Craig Lawrence, J.W. Anderson, Erdem’s Erdem Moralioglu, Mary Katrantzou who previously studded her printed skirts with crystals, Giles Deacon,  and Marios Schwab who has added pearls to his dresses in previous collections.

One of the most exciting for me has to be Craig Lawrence, I met him in Paris and saw his work up close and it is amazing. I am looking forward to see how he incorporates Swarovski elements into his designs, which can include crystal yarn, Swarovski pearls and even elastic crystal netting. Also Giles is apparently working his Swarovski crystals onto leather and feathers, which has left me intrigued to see his collection.

As well as aiding LFW designers, the Swarovski Collective is also supporting six New York-based designers including my fav Rebecca Minkoff, Jason Wu and Rodarte, as well as two in Paris Thierry Mugler and Viktor & Rolf.

[Illustration by Marcela Gutierrez for Swarovski]


Designer Copy: Marks and Spencer vs Erdem

I think this red lace Erdem dress may be one of the most copied pieces on the high street, well it is truly gorgeous, but I have found that none are great in colour, fit or even quality, well that is until now. I think this online exclusive from the Marks and Spencer Autograph collection is one of the best I have seen, especially as this Floral Lace Dress is only £89.

I just love its flattering silhouette, which nips in at the waist and flares out, add in the luxurious feel of the scarlet lace and this is one hot dress!!