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Tuesday 28 July 2015
ERDEM TELLS ALL
LOVE LETTERS: ERDEM TELLS ALL
Erdem Moralioglu reveals how to wear florals, the inspirations behind his new London store, and the answers to all of your questions.
Harper's BAZAAR: What is your first fashion memory?
Erdem Moralioglu: When I was a little boy, I was fascinated with how women looked and carried themselves. My first introduction to fashion probably came through television: I was obsessed with Elsa Klensch, who used to cover fashion for CNN. I grew up in Montreal, so we got all the French channels too, and they would report on all the couture shows. That's how I started to learn about people like Yves Saint Laurent. And before my sister, Sara, and I went to bed at night, my mom would show us books on Manet and other artists. Even then I was always really interested in how the women looked in the images.
EM: There was a big, beautiful lake at the end of my street, so I hung out there a lot. It was a very Virgin Suicides–y suburban area—everyone swam in the summer and skied in the winter. It was idyllic. I was a sporty kid, but where I grew up you had no choice; you had to join in. I also liked to draw, and I was kind of quiet. I enjoyed being by myself.
HB: Who are some of the women who have inspired your work?
EM: There are so many, but I love women like Romy Schneider and Charlotte Rampling, who I remember being amazed by in those old Visconti films. I loved cinema from a very young age. I was also obsessed with Hitchcock and actresses like Kim Novak in Vertigo. They all played heroines and were strong, powerful women, yet they were very feminine. But I don't know if I've ever had a muse per se. I would say that the woman I'm inspired by exists more in my sketchbooks. She exists in my head.
HB: You're a twin. Was your sister your first model?
EM: Yeah, Sara was my first model. When I applied to the Royal College of Art in London for fashion, I had her wearing my designs. She still wears my clothes. She's an amazing person to have around because she's a wonderful fan but also honest. She tells me what she thinks works and what she thinks doesn't.
HB: A lot of your designs incorporate floral prints. Do you garden?
EM: I just moved in to my house in East London, and we had a very lovely little garden put in the back. I'm very excited about it. There are tulips, roses, wisteria, and anemones—which are my favorite, even though I can't pronounce the word. I never did much gardening before, and I definitely don't have a green thumb, but we have an irrigation system, so I think it's foolproof; I'm hopeful that I'm not going to kill any plants. I've always been intrigued by things that insinuate femininity, so in my designs, something like a flower is never about the fact that it's a flower. It's more about what that repetitive motif implies. I view it in the same way I view lace: Florals allude to a kind of femininity. I love when people wear flowers in their own way, like when I see someone wearing a floral dress with brogues and a jacket. It's incongruous.