Mon­treal’s Er­dem teams up with H&M

Week­end, Oc­to­ber 13-15, 2017 De­signer draws on child­hood mem­o­ries for col­lab­o­ra­tion Style

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There is a Cana­dian con­nec­tion to the new­est buzzy H&M de­signer col­lab­o­ra­tion.

On Nov. 2, at se­lect stores and on­line, Er­dem x H&M will launch with a col­lec­tion of 30 to 35 women’s styles and 10 to 15 ac­ces­sories, and around 20 men’s styles and 10 ac­ces­sories, a first for the la­bel. The lim­ited-edi­tion event is ex­pected to gen­er­ate the same sell­out frenzy of pre­vi­ous years’ col­lab­o­ra­tions from the likes of Alexan­der Wang, Ba­len­ci­aga, Marni, Ver­sace and Commes des Gar­cons, among oth­ers.

Er­dem Mo­rali­oglu was born in Mon­treal in 1976 to a Turk­ish father and a Bri­tish mother. His epony­mous la­bel is known for his ex­otic and in­tri­cate prints and fab­rics cut with a ro­man­tic flow. His work has been em­braced mem­o­rably by celebrity fans from Kate Mid­dle­ton and Meghan Markle, to Michelle Obama, Keira Knight­ley, Claire Foy, Jes­sica Chas­tain and Ni­cole Kid­man.

Early on, Mo­rali­oglu de­vel­oped his sig­na­ture look, hon­ing his craft at Ry­er­son Univer­sity, where he earned a BA in de­sign. He car­ried on to Lon­don to be­come the star of the Royal Col­lege of Art grad­u­ate class of 2003, fol­lowed by in­tern­ships at print-mas­ter Diane von Fursten­berg in New York, then ro­man­ti­cist rebel Vivi­enne West­wood back in Lon­don, be­fore launch­ing his own line in 2005.

Known for the elab­o­rate back­sto­ries he in­vents for his col­lec­tions, Mo­rali­oglu is ever play­ful about the H&M in­spi­ra­tion: “In­spired by the Pet Shop Boys mu­sic video Be­ing Bor­ing, I im- agined a group of young friends in­vad­ing an English coun­try house for the week­end, and that idea of wear­ing a ball gown with a pair of train­ers, or a guy in silk py­ja­mas with a tweed jacket that he found on the back of a door.”

He says de­sign­ing this col­lab­o­ra­tion col­lec­tion was a chance to look back through his work and themes over the years, such as the sun­ray plisse dress that was in his first-ever col­lec­tion, or Vic­to­rian but­ton­holes from a col­lec­tion three years ago. He adds, “I also looked at my own per­sonal mem­o­ries, my child­hood and my fam­ily, and things that in­spire me in pop cul­ture.” Even though prices will range from $29.99 to $299, he says “Every­thing is exquisitely de­tailed and beau­ti­fully fin­ished, with­out any com­pro­mises.”

H&M de­sign direc­tor Ann-Sofie Jo­hans­son calls Mo­rali­oglu’s work “frag­ile and strong at the same time.” She says she loves how his col­lec­tions time-travel through dif­fer­ent eras, but emerge with an al­ways con­tem­po­rary edge.

She also thinks Er­dem is just the tonic H&M needs right now: “For me, this col­lab­o­ra­tion is about pure beauty. It’s like beau­ti­fi­ca­tion for the trou­bled world that we live in. I think that right now, our eyes need to see some­thing that is beau­ti­ful, charm­ing and del­i­cate.” And for us Cana­di­ans, we may just find bits of our­selves re­flected in the work. Mo­rali­oglu says the H&M col­lec­tion riffs on the stuff he and his fam­ily used to wear back in Canada, from his twin sis­ter Sara’s vin­tage tea dresses worn with a fleece over­top, to an old Nor­we­gian sweater he wore in high school.

“Then I re­mem­bered how my mother would put our father’s tweed blazer over her shoul­ders when she would drive us to school, or the struc­tured hand­bags she car­ries in pho­tos of her from the ’60s.”

Con­trib­uted

The Er­dem x h&M col­lec­tion in­cludes men’s scan­di­na­vian style sweaters ($149), a blue flo­ral coat with black sash ($249) and a burgundy retro faux croc purse ($149).

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