The fashion circus stops for no one. Even a leading designer of his generation whose romantic creations this past decade have been worn by everyone from The Crown’s Claire Foy to Michelle Obama and Madonna. But for Erdem Moralioglu, his honeymoon this fall had to squeeze into a two-day gap in between fittings and finishing off his Spring collection.
“I got married on August 31st and I had my show a couple of weeks later so we booked 48 hours at Le Bristol in Paris, spending most of the time sleeping in, having breakfast in bed, and walking around the Tuileries and along The Seine. But my highlight was this kind of photo transfer of our faces in chocolate powder on top of the cappuccinos in the morning.”
The affable Canadian-born designer (with a British mother and Turkish father) has called London home for the last 20 years since he joined the Royal College, alma mater of such greats as Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell. A designer’s designer, he is delightfully ego-free, with the self-possession to charm the haughtiest of fashion dragons and a stolid champion of his fellow (formerly) Young British Designers who rose up together in the noughties. But it’s his own collections that do the talking: known for their extravagant silhouettes, embroidered silks, they are a bankable highlight of London Fashion Week. Recent references have included everything from silent movie stars from early Hollywood to Victorian London’s secret club of cross-dressers.
Even when he is on the road, meeting buyers, clients and stars in Paris and New York, Erdem cites books as his biggest luxury. “Everywhere I go, I tend to buy books. I have a big library in the studio, one at home and I keep a lot in storage. There’s an amazing bookshop in Le Marais called Comptoir de l’Image, I love Les Mots à la Bouche, which is a wonderful little gay bookstore. I love Dashwood Books in New York, with amazing editions and first editions.”
When it comes to travel he is a creature of habit, Mexico City and the Greek island of Patmos are two destinations he will revisit in 2020 with his favorite companion, his architect husband Philip who designed his store on London’s Mount Street. “When I go away, I try to forget about work but I suppose inspiration has a way of finding you. Generally, I always go away with a clear head and just with the intention of just relaxing…I always have my eyes very open. I find it impossible to close them particularly when I’m somewhere new. We’re all visual people, and I’m always looking.”