// by Molly Flaherty //
Over the past thirteen years, H&M have carved out their spot on the high street as the go-to brand for high fashion collaborations, and 2017 is no different.
The release of H&M’s latest collection with Erdem Moralioglu brings the high-end designer’s work to a mainstream audience for the first time, and the result does not disappoint. The ERDEM brand, founded in 2005, combines the bold and the delicate, and the collaboration with H&M perfectly reflects these signature design features.
The collection offers options for all genders, merging the formal with the informal; the refined with the riotous; the classic with the contemporary. The basic premise, as apparent in Baz Luhrmann’s promotional video for the range, is that of extravagance. Young and beautiful individuals in a manor house decadently adorned with flowers – reminiscent of Eden – sets the tone for the clothes. ERDEM takes classic, simplistic designs, and transforms them through the use of prints and textiles. Alternating between multiple individually-designed floral prints, each piece has a bespoke feel associated with premium-quality products. Pussy-bow blouses, frilly-collared shirts, and co-ord suits are clearly indicative of preppy influences, yet there are unique twists to every garment. The approaches to texture in the design of these garments set them apart, drawing on Elizabethan-style creased elements to add dimension and shape. Cigarette trousers come in beige silk, adorned with ditsy blue flowers, whilst conservative lace maxi dresses are given an edge with stripes of black and white floral material cutting across the mid-section. Bows are embellished with metal and jewels: they play with texture and light, adding yet more detail to already-ornate pieces.
ERDEM’S range acts as its own capsule wardrobe. The clothes are mix and match: they can be paired together and then swapped around. Moralioglu battles against the current culture of fast fashion by creating pieces with permanence about them, timeless designs brought into 2017. The collection with H&M marks ERDEM’s first foray into the world of menswear, and the lack of distinction between suits available for men and women demonstrates the gentle approach towards this transition. Consumers only serve to benefit from this, however, with a degree of fluidity between the gender-assigned sections of the range. Kirsten Dunst has led the pack, already photographed in the nightwear style co-ord suit initially styled on a male model.
With more than a hundred pieces on offer, the selection is impressive, demonstrating versatility whilst keeping within the creative vision of the collaborators.
Standard season staples including chunky knitwear are not forgotten, in a range of colours complementary to the floral prints featured in garments such as poofy A-line midi skirts and silk-printed trousers. The ‘90s Clueless revival has been fervently embraced in my favourite ensemble: a black and yellow tweed fitted jacket and skirt combination reminiscent of Cher Horowitz herself.
Reception by the fashion community has thus far been overwhelmingly positive. The launch party, held in LA mid-October, sported a botanical-themed runway, and stars flocked to the occasion. Alexa Chung was amongst the cohort of trendsetters representing the brand at the event, keeping with her signature style in a ditsy-patterned midi drop dress from the range. Vogue is heralding the floral print black hoodie – the surprise piece of the collection – as the must-have staple for this season. Website crashes and queues outside stores were predicted in the lead up to the line’s launch on November 2nd, as anticipation and demand for this long-awaited collection grew.
Overall, ERDEM’s collaboration with H&M is nothing short of stunning. It turns expectations for an Autumn/Winter range on their head, boldly experimenting with contrast. Pastel pops of light against dark tones, heavy winter coats patterned with traditionally spring florals – Moralioglu has worked hard to ensure that his collection will not be forgotten in a long list of famous H&M faces.
Shop the new collection here.