Erdem’s heroine is a shipwrecked spy from the 30s for SS17.
When a ship sunk in the North Sea in 1642, a wardrobe of Jean Ker, Countess of Roxburghe was one of the casualties. A lady-in-waiting for Henrietta Maria of France, Charles I’s wife, Jean was travelling to the Netherlands, tasked with a secret mission to sell some of the Crown Jewels, cash from which would be used to pay the king’s soldiers who were preparing to fight in the English Civil War. The countess’ drowned garments have recently been rescued, not only becoming great historical artefacts, but also the inspiration for Erdem’s SS17 collection. Being the dreamer he is, Erdem has also imagined an army led by Ker some 300 years later, emerging on the shores of Deauville, ready for yet another mission. There was regal, there was the sea and there was war. There was the 17th and the 20th century. Only Erdem could take these references and merge them in the most beautiful collection, a boardwalk runway included.
Erdem is best known for his dresses, and bar a trouser suit that opened the show, there were 38 new versions ready to be taken for a spin at parties, events, and even weddings, with four white lace gowns offered for SS17. The silhouettes came in all shapes and fits; heavy a-line and floor-length, skin-tight and just above the ankle, ruffled and knee-length as well as barely-there sheer and super flowy. There was a sense of dark romance in the air, as black floral prints featured on soft dresses, while lighter-coloured, embroidered ones were tied with black velvet ribbons across shoulders, laced across chests, around necks and arms to create ballooning sleeve shapes. Criss-crossed ruffles were reminiscent of armour, yet, elsewhere, floral-shaped crystals were scattered across delicate lace gowns. Frills appeared everywhere, oversized to make skirts bouncy, as well as mille-feullie ones made from lace to create a cute new texture and layering. Yet, elsewhere, asymmetric hems, frayed tweeds and dresses cut to fall from shoulders reminded us of Erdem’s SS17 woman’s fate. It was all bit Keira Knightley in The Pirates of the Caribbean, precious but also somewhat tough and ready for action.
Keep your hat on
Every girl on a mission needs a disguise. Erdem’s wore a black panama hat with an oversized brim, covering the face up to the mouth, shielding her identity. Other accessories included statement hoop earrings with a bird nested into them and a pearl dropping down, as though caught on as the designer’s heroine was stepping out of the sea. Shoes came as brocade mules, laced-up flatforms, chunky heels and 17th century slippers, suitable for any situation the girl can find herself in on her exciting adventures.