The Lon­don-based designer takes his first crack at menswear with a pol­ished H&M col­lab­o­ra­tion

Sharp - - CONTENTS - By Bradley White­house

Cana­dian-born Er­dem Mo­rali­oglu de­buts his first-ever men’s col­lec­tion in col­lab­o­ra­tion with H&M.

SINCE LAUNCH­ING his first-name-only la­bel, Er­dem (pro­nounced Er-dum), in 2005, Er­dem Mo­rali­oglu has gained a loyal fol­low­ing among the fe­male fash­ion set for his quintessen­tially Bri­tish frocks. But menswear was never part of his op­er­a­tions — un­til now. H&M re­cently en­listed the designer to cre­ate its an­nual cap­sule col­lec­tion, known for elic­it­ing re­tail pan­de­mo­nium. Here, the Ry­er­son Univer­sity alum (now based in Lon­don; he was raised in Mon­treal) talks about trans­lat­ing his dis­tinc­tive vi­sion into a menswear lineup filled with crisp tai­lor­ing, mas­cu­line takes on graphic flo­rals and, true to his Cana­dian roots, even a designer toque.

For the first time, you’re de­sign­ing pieces you could wear. Did your per­sonal style fac­tor into your de­signs?

It was a com­pletely new ex­pe­ri­ence to think about my own wardrobe when I was de­sign­ing this col­lec­tion. When I de­sign my run­way col­lec­tions, I’m al­ways think­ing about the woman and the nar­ra­tive be­hind her, whereas de­sign­ing menswear was a slightly more foren­sic process. We were mak­ing men’s pieces for the very first time, so a lot of thought went into the de­sign de­ci­sions, like how did I want the pants to sit? What was the cut of the blazer? What would my parka look like?

Speak­ing of nar­ra­tive, what is the story be­hind these pieces?

The col­lec­tion brings to­gether many dif­fer­ent nar­ra­tives, draw­ing from my fam­ily and my child­hood in Canada. I have an amaz­ing photo of my fa­ther from the ’60s that in­spired the tweed blazer and its neat shape, while my favourite Nor­we­gian sweater, which I used to wear grow­ing up, was be­hind the graphic take on the Fair Isle. I was re­ally think­ing about my wardrobe — both now and from dif­fer­ent stages of grow­ing up.

How is de­sign­ing flo­rals for men dif­fer­ent than de­sign­ing them for women?

Flo­rals are a re­cur­ring theme in my work, and it was an ex­cit­ing chal­lenge to ap­ply them to this menswear col­lec­tion. Some­how in the de­sign process, the flo­rals just looked nat­u­ral, whether used sub­tly in the lin­ing of a jacket or as a bold print on a hoodie. There are also great silk flo­ral py­ja­mas that evoke a kind of louche elegance. I think with menswear it’s about find­ing the right bal­ance and do­ing things just enough.

Your cloth­ing has a strong English sen­si­bil­ity. What de­fines English men’s style to you?

English­ness is some­thing that has al­ways fas­ci­nated me. When I was grow­ing up, my mother would show me very English Mer­chant Ivory films, such as A Room With a View, and these had a huge in­flu­ence on me. It’s in­ter­est­ing to have English her­itage from my mother’s side of the fam­ily but to have grown up out­side the coun­try. I think it gives you a dif­fer­ent viewpoint on what it means to be English. In terms of English style, I think it’s a mix of tra­di­tional elegance with a kind of in­sou­ciant ec­cen­tric­ity, which I find so ap­peal­ing.

How can guys work the silky py­jama shirt into their wardrobe?

It would look so good worn with a favourite pair of jeans and sneak­ers or maybe dressed up with a tuxedo dur­ing party sea­son. It’s such a great piece — I hope men will have it in their wardrobe for many sea­sons to come.

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