Erdem Resort 2024 Collection
Erdem Moralioglu is always finding himself falling deeply in love with a different woman or ladies from a different time period. To this extent, we are aware of the elusive manner in which his creative mind structures itself. His pre-spring collection is inspired by a love affair he had in the 1950s with Deborah, the late Duchess of Devonshire and a former chatelain of Chatsworth. Deborah was known by her nickname “Debo.” Her childhood moniker, which she has kept for the rest of her life, is embroidered in pearls on a crewneck sweater made of navy cashmere. This serves as an introduction.
It begins with an oversized, animal-printed alpaca A-line swing coat and continues with a succession of fairly lavishly draped, printed, and jewel-encrusted evening clothes. The coat in the beginning is an exaggeration of an A-line swing silhouette. One of his black velvet off-the-shoulder gowns is a clear allusion to a painting of Deborah painted by Cecil Beaton. The portrait features bows on either side of the neckline. In other words, Moralioglu is in his element when it comes to urging his consumers towards the Christmas season with a richly-referenced ode to the grandly odd aesthetic of the Duchess of Windsor.
Her passion for collecting bug brooches is evident in the beetle, spider, and dragonfly jewellery that she wears, which she pins on ballgowns and lazily drapes over exaggerations of ladylike cashmere twinsets. Then there are his portrayals of the outdoor life of the lady of the estate, who was famed for breeding rare-breed chickens and who was as good friends with local farmers as she was with the likes of Lucian Freud, who painted her picture. The lady of the estate was also known for her close relationships with neighbouring farmers. The audience was then treated to extremely Erdem-like reinterpretations of his characteristic trench coats, which were beige in the front and fan-pleated tweed in the rear. There was also a practical Prince of Wales checked walking suit with a kilted skirt.
To be fair, Moralioglu is not the first fashion designer, writer, biographer, or artist to be entranced by Debo. In fact, he is not even close. The narrative of the six very diverse Mitford sisters has spawned an entire literary subgenre known as Mitfordania, which has its own industry. Debo, who was the youngest of the three, predicted when she was a youngster that she would one day become an adult and marry a Duke.
However, due to a series of connections and events (one of which is his friendship with Laura Burlington, who is the daughter-in-law of the current Duke and Duchess of Devonshire and was an early boutique buyer of Erdem at the Bluebird store in the mid-2000s), he has been granted permission by the family to study her wardrobe in the house archive.
These images, which were taken by Campbell Addy, give a glimpse of the black and white marble flooring at Chatsworth as well as the dust sheets that were used behind the scenes. Given Moralioglu’s propensity for doing in-depth historical research at institutions like museums, libraries, and private collections, it is reasonable to suppose that his pre-spring collection is just the beginning of his discoveries in this area. When he returns in September, there will undoubtedly be a great deal more on Debo to discuss.