Erdem Moralioğlu has always favored pretty prints for his namesake line. Even when he's letting his darker side breathe—as with last fall's collection—he seemingly can't help but sneak in some artful eye candy, typically watercolored flowers in light colors. For his spring collection, though, Moralioğlu finally seemed more ready to all but abandon the color, instead focusing more on textural experimentation.
This was a largely black and white collection, and though unexpected, not unwelcome. A safari-inspired iridescent white jacket (paired with a center-slit skirt) opened the show. The sheer, lace-encrusted long-sleeved midi dresses felt utterly Erdem, though colorless, and were made a bit cheeky with the designer's makeshift personal crest, a script embroidered "E" bound by his year of birth. His outfits feel like a really smart collage, an amalgam of sheer fabrics, random pattern-comprising embroidery and floaty feather accents; this is the edge that keeps the line from going into the too-pretty zone. Indeed, there were some decidedly rougher elements, some pretty-meets-tough pieces in the collection: an embroidered moto jacket, sharp buttoned-up collars that finished off reluctant tomboy looks. Meanwhile, the knee-skimming white jacket, whose stripes were alternating sheer fabric and woven tweed, was just plain cool. And Moralioğlu, of course, couldn't finish the collection without just a little color, on the sheer-sleved floral-embroidered bomber—he repeated the stitching on a floor-grazing gown.
This show is a testament to Moralioğlu pushing his own boundaries and leaving his colorful comfort zone—a clear visual sign that rich hues need not define the designer.