LONDON--London venues this season have either been full of gilt and chintz and huge chandeliers, or large spaces with industrial details. Erdem's show, held at a pristine white art gallery on a cool street in London, was a nice change. I got there way too early, and watched several amusing things before the show started: A young reporter with a cameraman in tow worked up her courage to speak to Anna Wintour, did a short interview, then realized the recorder hadn't been on and had to go back and do it again. To her credit, Anna did the whole thing over again. Then she spent a good 20 minutes whispering to Franca Sozzani. Were they planning to go out for a Guinness after the show? Anyway.
The crisp white gallery space was the perfect backdrop for Erdem's collection. While known for his soft, lacy looks and demure cuts, Erdem crossed over into the dark side this season (and we hope royal fan Kate Middleton follows suit) and he heaped on the strong color, like chartreuse and fuchsia. Neon has been a street style staple in London this season, and you would be on every blog in the universe in some of these numbers.
He also went painterly, with floral patterns rendered in bright colors which evoked the feeling of a watercolor. Most surprisingly of all, Erdem introduced a little bit of fetish element, with rubberized latex adorning a number of dresses and black lace overlays. The extras were pretty extraordinary, too. The Nicolas Kirkwood shoes could get us to wear a big square toe again and the sewn in jewelry, designed by Erickson Beamon using Swarovski Elements, was bright and playful.
We like Erdem's fun, fearless female for fall.