Erdem RTW Fall 2021

Lockdown living has spawned many a hybrid, with designers splicing casual, sporty looks — and even pajama styles — with tailoring and other, smarter pieces. Erdem Moralioglu put his own spin on the trend, looking to the 40-something Margot Fonteyn when she began dancing with the young Rudolf Nureyev in the 1960s for inspiration.

His collection looked to mirror the daily routines of the grande dame of dance — backstage, onstage and in her personal life — and it was clear he was having a ball. The contrasts in this collection were charming — models wore little wool caps or thick headbands and dangly diamond earrings, exaggerated platforms shaped like ballet slippers, and while some even carried blankets to warm those hardworking muscles.

Moralioglu dressed his models — and four dancers from the Royal Ballet — in his fall designs and filmed them stepping into, and out of, the spotlight at the Bridge Theatre in London, channeling all the poise, grandeur and energy of the middle-aged Fonteyn.

Erdem RTW Fall 2021

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The clothes were unmistakably Erdem — grand and couture-ish — with lovely touches from the wardrobe of a diva, including feather prints nodding to “Swan Lake” and dramatic details, such as giant crystals, nodding to the British choreographer Frederick Ashton.

The gentle folds around the shoulders of a trench mimicked those of a ballerina sweater, while the pleated back of a wool coat flared dramatically as the model moved. A long feathery skirt recalled the famous ballet, while the big bell sleeves on a long, bejeweled dress echoed the glamorous looks Fonteyn would don when out on the town.

Skinny knits — leggings, caps, off-the-shoulder and turtleneck sweaters — wound their way around the collection, layered under bejeweled dresses or embroidered shirts. Erdem said he wanted to play with the tension between the onstage Fonteyn and the offstage one, and between discipline and decadence. In doing so, he found that very sweet spot where ease meets glamour.

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