Scene setting: Regular show collaborator Robin Brown erected a coastal boardwalk for Erdem Moralioglu’s brooding spring/summer 2017 set, which was imbued with a dark nostalgia in spite of its beachside vicinity. The wind swept setting referenced the tale of Charles I’s wife, Queen Henrietta Maria’s courtier Jean Ker, the Countess of Roxburghe’s infamous shipwrecked gowns, which recently turned up off the coast of The Netherlands, merged with the iconic black and white photography of 20th century lensman Jacques Henri Lartigue’s sun-seeking ladies as they promenaded the sea front. Adding a touch of whimsy, Brown also reimaged their washed up books and eyeglasses, which were laid to rest in shallow Perspex ‘pools’ of salt water that dotted the Old Selfridges Hotel venue.
Mood board: ‘Deauville, sand and sea,’ Moralioglu explained backstage, referring to Lartigue’s 1930s photography of women by the seashore. On the runway spring began with nipped-in floral jacquard pant and skirt suits and got increasingly more elaborate with the introduction of silk brocades, which cascaded into ruffled day dresses before Moralioglu draped frayed silk chiffon strips on the bias for cocktail hour. Fringed tweed continued down this tactile path, followed by delicate French lace and breezy striped silk gowns, which were encrusted with clusters of sparkling beading. The prevalent use of ribbon to lace up dresses and even jacket fronts brought a more sensual undertone, balancing the collection’s more formal silhouettes with a modern lightness.
Finishing touches: With his Mayfair store now in its second year, accoutrements are no longer solely a catwalk fancy for Moralioglu. Noel Stewart worked on the show’s low brimmed straw hats, while his regal footwear took the form of brick-like brocade platforms, dainty pointed flats and elegantly jewelled mules, which felt a little more 17th century salvage.