Erdem Fall Winter 2020 Collection. National Portrait Gallery, London. 17th February 2020
Words by Charlie Newman
There’s one trend all fashion folk can’t get enough of in this years Fall Winter 2020 collections, they’ve collared it (pardon the pun) ‘big collar energy.’ Translated for the rest of us- whether it’s Peter Pan, pussy bow or pointed, the bigger the better. It’s refreshing to see something storming collection after collection that every customer, whatever age or size, can get on board with.
Erdem lead the way at London Fashion Week with one oversized collar at a time, quirking up his classic shapes with a jaunty neckline. Set amongst the jewel coloured hues of The National Portrait Gallery, the collection basked in the rich history hanging on the gallery’s walls. It was as though the great female icons had walked out of the canvas and down the catwalk. A clash of Downtown Abbey’s post Edwardian era and The Great Gatsby’s roaring twenties style, it was a most arresting combination of: stiff, high necklines, capped sleeves and cinched in waistlines alongside dropped waistlines, elegant gloves, a flutter of feathers (not dissimilar from Marc Jacobs SS12 collection for Louis Vuitton, who can forget Edie Campbell striding out in that body suit with that headress) and a smattering of pearls on every surface. The entire collection was dripping in nostalgia yet somehow Erdem managed to avoid fancy dress territory. Delicate toile print stood adjacent to heavy gothic jacquard, elegant corsage draping was paired with clompy platform Mary Janes, striking chequerboard prints alongside flashes of lamé, loose ruffles paired with cropped, pleated suits.
Whilst this collection may be steeped in history it’s still inevitably Erdem. His signature florals given the sacred sanction by Kate Middleton, were updated with louche cardigans and knee high tights/socks; perhaps more of a nod to Kate’s grandparents in law. Girlish, floral prints hold hands with boldly confident shapes, the bottom line is that it’s playful, it’s fun, but most importantly wearable and flattering.
There’s a reason for Erdem’s melting pot of references, indeed this collection is released alongside Cecil Beaton’s ‘Bright Young Things’ exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, opening on March the 12th. However, you don’t need a degree in History of Art to appreciate Erdem’s collection, take a leaf out of Beaton’s mantra, “be daring, be different, be impractical” and go forth in all your unabashed glamour.