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Suzy Menkes

Vogue International Editor Suzy Menkes is the best-known fashion journalist in the world. After 25 years commenting on fashion for the International Herald Tribune (rebranded recently as The International New York Times), Suzy Menkes now writes exclusively for Vogue online, covering fashion worldwide.

Erdem's Theatrical Innocence

Dreams of Hollywood create modern prettiness

23 Февраля 2016

Erdem, fall 2016 ready-to-wear
Erdem, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

A raw room, an upturned piano, dust cover sheets over both a stuffed bear and sparkling chandeliers - even the theatrical backstage set at Erdem made the fashion blood rise. 

This was one of those shows where the clothes - in their purposeful daintiness - were exceptional. It all started with a little booklet – an Erdem staple – in which Oliver Messel, the stage designer of the Thirties and Forties, appeared in a Cecil Beaton photograph along with Beaton's sister in a delicately sparkled chiffon dress – sitting amid all manner of theatrical paraphernalia – which set today’s tone. 

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Erdem, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Erdem, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Erdem, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Erdem, fall 2016 ready-to-wear


But the visual surprise of this apparently historical story was how modern it seemed, right down to the little Victorian bootees or flat shoes that Erdem described, along with inside-out jacquard and “boyish tailoring” as the “concept of the show”.

It was the idea of young women running from work to audition for a movie roll. So the outfits varied from a tomboy trouser suit to a lacy, vaguely 1930s dress – but one that was filled with youthful innocence and urgency, not the fading star of Sunset Boulevard. 

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Erdem, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Erdem, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Erdem, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Erdem, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Erdem, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Erdem, fall 2016 ready-to-wear


A dress might be cream satin with frills edging the cross-over neckline; shimmering gold running over the body; or more often black. But that dark colour covered the body in different stages of exposure, from a thick, black satin collar through a veil of chiffon at the neck to crusty black lace. 

Even if flower embroideries might have seemed a touch too heritage romantic, Erdem balanced the looks with brisk check pants. And overall, he managed to use a theatrical theme without showing overheated drama in the clothes.

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Erdem, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Erdem, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Erdem, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Erdem, fall 2016 ready-to-wear


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