#SuzyLFW: Erdem – Prairie Madness
"I've always loved the language of the feminine," said Erdem Moralio?lu, surrounded backstage by models whose dresses were floral, fragile and fraying.
On stage all was mist and smoke as the figures trudged past a railway track, the longer dresses trailing along the dirt path, or the hems held up over ladylike shoes as the models walked the stairs to another railroad platform in this King's Cross Station-turned-runway.
"Prairie Madness: a nineteenth-century condition," said Erdem, referring to the agoraphobia and depression experienced by immigrants newly arrived to America's Great Plains. He said he had been looking also at the mid-century paintings of American regionalist artist Andrew Wyeth.
But it isn't the backstory itself - like the fact that women alone on the prairies were given chunks of land to tend - that matters. Rather the way in which Erdem imparts a sense of drama and danger to a collection that might otherwise be just another floral festival.
Fabrics frayed at the edges and smocking, quilted lamé and tiny concertina frills were all ways of bringing in lightness to the more practical side of the show. While the long floaty dresses were right on message.
This autumn Erdem has been celebrating ten years in fashion and a new London store - those two landmarks are impressive. But most of all he has taken his love for nature and historical knowledge and woven into his collections more than just the pretty dresses that first meet the eye.