LIKE many of us, Erdem Moralıoğlu turned to the pages of a novel to inject some much-needed scandal and zing into his Zoom-filled days in lockdown.
For the Canadian-born designer, whose signature botanical prints are favoured by the likes of the Duchess of Cambridge, Emma Watson and Julianne Moore, it was The Volcano Lover, the historical romantic novel penned by American critic Susan Sontag in 1992.
Set in the royal court of 18th century Naples, the story centres around an unfolding love triangle between Emma Hamilton, a British model and actress, her husband the British diplomat Sir William Hamilton and Lord Nelson. It was in the twists and turns of this whirlwind tale where 42-year-old Erdem found inspiration for his SS21 collection, In the Shadow of the Volcano.
Filmed between an avenue of oaks and hornbeams in Epping Forest in Essex, the pre-recorded show, which premiered on the British Fashion Council website on September 21 during London Fashion Week, was, as you would expect, a dreamy layering of historical references interwoven with vivacious natural prints – think feathery dandelions, berries, roses and winding ferns.
Styled by Ibrahim Kamara, the thirty-seven looks proposed refined brocade tailoring and a smorgasbord of flora-inspired day dresses – floor-length, floral gowns in white, cream and rose followed painterly tunics with puff-sleeve shirts underneath, while floaty trouser suits came interwoven with a cropped khaki two-piece embellished with black bead detailing.
Accessorised with white neckerchiefs, quartz crystal earrings and ribbon headbands, models strode the sun-drenched runway in open-toe platform shoes, ranging from a gleaming emerald satin to python in vibrant shades.
Hand-embroidered frocks were characterful while prints clashed to elegant effect – from beginning to end, it was fantastical Erdem romance one is certain to remember.
by Joshua Hendren