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H&M x Erdem – Androgyny and kitsch florals

The wait is nearly over for one of the most eagerly anticipated collections

The latest designer to collaborate with high street store H&M is Erdem. After the initial announcement back in July, the fashion world has been waiting in great anticipation to see the collection. Following in the footsteps of other designers such as Versace, Balmain and Kenzo, this collection is set to be a massive success. Known for his feminine silhouettes and over-ornate florals, the Canadian and Turkish fashion designer Erdem Moralioglu will be launching the collection on November 2nd, online and in selected H&M stores.


“For the first time, the designer collaboration will include menswear.”

In a preview of the Victoriana like collection, models are seen running through an attractive garden in a short film created by director Baz Luhrmann who is known for his films ‘The Great Gatsby’ and ‘Moulin Rouge!’. That was enough to keep the fashion moguls occupied until the looks were finally dropped on the 12th October in a lookbook photographed by Michal Pudelka. The lookbook was said to ‘recreate his own strange and beautiful universe in front of the camera’ as the collection was captured against a bare understated grey wall, matching the formal and dignified arrangement of the collection itself.

The collaboration features romantic florals, dresses with delicate lace inserts and plenty of opulent ruffles just waiting to be layered with chunky knits. Plus, for the first time, the designer collaboration will include menswear. The inspiration behind the collection comes from Moralioglu’s love of disheveled tuxedos and gowns as informality and formality fuse to create clothing appropriate for all shapes, genders and ages.

For men, the collaboration offers a double-breasted jacket, attractive floral shirts with matching pyjama style trousers and, set to be the real seller of the collection, the olive green parker jacket. Knitwear is also part of the men’s collection, steering away from Erdem’s trademark floral prints, serving distinctive festive vibes with plenty of zigzags and muted shades of grey, mustard, and green.

This capsule collection does not exactly come with a high street price tag like the other collaborations have in the past, but when comparing the price of the Erdems Cordelia silk midi dress at £1,670 with the price of the most expensive item in the collection at £266, some may say the prices are actually a steal.


“The look itself screams there are no rules when it comes to fashion.”

From London to Los Angeles, the collaboration has its star-studded launch party where A-listers joined Erdem Moraligoglu to browse and showcase the collection before it hits the stores. Taking place at LA’s Ebell Theatre, it was remodeled into a vibrant, earthly garden, with flowers crawling up banisters and spilling over balconies which replicated the gardens seen in the short film by Luhrmann. Although this is one of the first collections by Erdem to include menswear, both male and female models wore items which would typically be worn by the other genders, adding an element of androgyny. Men wore cross body bags and females wore more masculine silhouettes and men’s coats. Erdem really broke the boundaries, especially as gender fluidity is a hot topic within the fashion industry.


The beauty of hosting a launch party prior to the release of the actual collection is that the world is able to see how the items featured are worn off the catwalk. Fashion blogger Veronika Heilbrunner chose to layer a white floral slip dress with a black sweatshirt from the collection with a fuchsia bag and white converse. Choosing to layer florals with yet more florals can be risky but both prints were noticeably different in that the floral print on the sweatshirt was less lively than the alternative. By wearing neutral colours, it allows the vibrancy of the print to be exhibited which signifies Erdem as a designer.

Dutch fashion model Imaan Hammam also showed she was no stranger to experimentation as she wore a floral, lace insert evening dress from the collection and paired it with a pair of clumpy floral boots which are also featured. The look itself screams there are no rules when it comes to fashion as models play with formal garments and casual accessories.

The smartly fitting floral suits, Harris tweeds and orchestration of black lace are waiting to be layered and played with. Whilst appearing noticeably high fashion, the collection is one of the most striking and unique collaboration H&M has ever produced. Erdem’s sense of imagination and ability to use memories of important figures in his life and what they wore evidently informed the designs and making of. In an interview given in at the LA launch, Erdem spoke of his parents as inspirations:  “I found myself thinking a lot about my upbringing the way my father used to dress. I have these pictures of him in the ’60s in these sort of nipped tweed suits. And the way my mom would dress. She had this fantastic sort of accordion[-like] constructed croc bag that I was looking at with these odd sort of jewels on it.” All that was mentioned about his parents is clearly reflected in this breathtaking collection.

All that is left to do now is eagerly await the release on November 2nd.

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