Erdem Pre-Fall 2020: Using The Past To Speak Glamour Into The Future

In the heady days and long nights of 1930s London, the bright young things are the talk of the town. They have innate style, but they are fearless individuals with powerful personalities too. These were characters that dressed to impress their peers and express themselves, and it is this duality that is captured in the collection. Lightness is balanced with strength, sweeping volumes are grounded with particular textiles, sharp and jaunty tailoring is softened with prints. Across the collection there is a mood of delicate defiance – an old order disrupted by something new. “She was an anti-fascist who fought against racism…a journalist, poet, muse; completely ahead of her time.” Erdem Moralioglu said of Nancy Cunard, the heiress to the cruise line, whose portrait he came across with Robin Muir at the “Cecil Beaton: Bright Young Things” exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London. It was Nancy who served as the British designer’s inspiration for Pre-Fall 2020 collection. The collection was easily identifiable as an Erdem collection. The designer is always delivering us the best florals and prints taking silhouette inspiration mostly from the early 20th Century. The Pre-Fall 2020 collection was no different. It showed us once again that Erdem is a master of cut and silhouette. Everything in this collection was lovely. Feminine, glamorous, and strong. Glamour matched with eccentricity; style and opinion, grace, wit and grit, in equal measure. Until recently her nobility defined her identity, but now she is defined by her principles and not just her privilege. She might be dressed for a portrait, but she is here to be heard, and not just seen. I feel like it is only appropriate that this collection inspired by such a pioneering woman came to life right now. I did a little digging into who Nancy Cunard was after reading that she was the inspiration behind the collection. In my research I was able to find that she opposed the rise of fascism and support the work of black artists and writers by using her white and financial privileges. While the clothes are not hers the fact she is the inspiration behind the collection mean that the women who will bring the looks from this collection to life on the red carpet and in real life have a major legacy to live up to. Three women who champion causes of those less fortunate than them, and I hope for racial justice, I would love to see bring looks from this collection to life include Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Keira Knightley, & Cate Blanchett. I would love to see Catherine wearing the red, white, and blue long sleeve 1930’s bias cut long poet sleeve midi dress with a red bow belted waist, which is available for purchase from the designer’s online store now. It would be a super chic and feminine moment for the royal to bring to life with her signature waves, defined eyes, soft pink lips, a red Jimmy Choo ‘Varenne’ croc-embossed clutch, and a pair of red Jimmy Choo ‘Romy 85’ pointed toe pumps. For Keira I went to a more turn of the century inspired look with this sequin embellished avocado green puffy cap sleeve tiered gown. The gown definitely speaks directly to Keira’s very romantic sense of style and I can definitely imagine her bringing the look to life on the red carpet with a romantic updo, smokey eyes, antique rose pink lips, and a pair of antique gold Aquazzura ‘So Nude’ slingback metallic leather sandals. From the row of looks above the third look is PERFECT for Cate Blanchett. In a recent review of the Chanel Cruise 2021 collection I saw a more casual look from the collection that was perfect for Cate to wear during her day to day duties as the president of the jury at the Venice Film Festival later this year. I would say the exact same about this pale yellow, black, and robins egg blue floral print midi length shift dress with poet sleeves. At this rate I will have created a whole wardrobe for Cate to wear in Venice just based on my runway reviews. I would definitely love to see her snapped riding one of the classic wood lined water taxi’s in Venice wearing this dress styled with a romantic casual updo, defined eyes, a powder blue leather Marni top handle with a red leather line detail down the center, a pair of cream and grey Manolo Blahnik ‘Carolyn’ snakeskin pointed toe low heel slingback pumps, and light blue Chanel round frame chain detailed sunglasses. The brand has been a favorite of everyone from red carpet royalty to real royalty to editorial royalty. Everyone loves them some Erdem. I honestly am disappointed that the Met Gala was cancelled because I always look forward to the major custom gowns he sends up the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. There are several brands out there right now who are doing this voluminous puffy sleeve, peplum top with an a-line midi skirt look like you can see above and I am starting to feel fatigued by the style, but there was something about this lilac rose print silk brocade ensemble that I was drawn to. Then I imagined it on Lucy Boynton with a loose romantic updo, purple smokey eyes, punchy pink lips, a pair of vibrant purple velvet Prada chunky heel platform sandals with a crystal embellished buckle, and a pair of glamorous yet quirky lavender Anabela Chan ‘Bloom’ bejeweled titanium sculpted earrings and I was sold even further. My favorite look in the collection was the 60’s inspired lavender silk moire sleeveless sack gown which features a velvet ribbon tied at the neck and black floral embroidery. I was enamored with the gown the moment I saw it and definitely think that the statuesque Gemma Chan would definitely be the perfect person to bring the look to life on the red carpet. The gown itself is such a statement that I think with a sleek side parted updo, defined eyes, antique rose pink lips, a pair of lavender metallic leather Tabitha Simmons ‘JAZZ’ strappy sandals, and statement vintage white diamond and amethyst art deco inspired Cartier High Jewelry floral earclips that Gemma would ensure the look is feminine glamour defined.

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