erdem-fall-winer-2021

ErdemFall/Winter 2021

For Autumn Winter 2021, Erdem is at the ballet. We are in the wings, that liminal space between onstage and offstage, observing dancers criss-crossing over the mental and physical threshold to perform, moving from private to public and back again in a beat, a breath and the stretching or tensing of a limb. The seed was sown for Erdem following his collaboration with The Royal Ballet in 2018. He has worked here with Edward Watson, a principle dancer of The Royal Ballet, as movement director to capture this curious limbo state in the wings.

The spirit of the collection comes from Margot Fonteyn in the period of her career when she began dancing with Rudolf Nureyev. In 1961 when they first met, Fonteyn was 42 and Nureyev was 23. She was ready to retire, but such was the alchemy of their performance that she danced on for nearly two decades. Their synergy transcended taboo and shattered staid views about the age of a female dancer and the arc of her career. Photographs from this era show Fonteyn off duty, backstage and in rehearsal, powerful with poise even in repose.

The collection explores these particular juxtapositions of performance and rest, age and expectation, formal costume and informal clothing, variously combined and intertwined. Among the models are four Royal Ballet principal dancers of past and present: Christina Arestis, Elizabeth McGorian, Zenaida Yanowsky and Marguerite Porter, who danced in Swan Lake with Nureyev. At times it feel as if his spirit is present. A witchy Hitchcockian suspense hangs in the air.

The seminal designs of Frederik Ashton are referenced in dresses with oversized jewelled embellishments of
scale, to be seen from the back of the auditorium: organza dresses with sequin feathers and duchess gowns with supersized crystals in pink and red. Feather motifs and ostrich feather hairbands hint at a performance of Swan Lake. A palette of reds, pinks, black and ecru has a saturated cinematic quality. Large mikado dresses with watery prints like distorted stage projections add a more abstract sense of theatricality.

Nipped in tailored suits and coats bring the ballet mistress to mind. Elsewhere dresses are cut in an open way as to appear pulled over another garment, or falling off. Several dresses are merged with the underpinning, revealing the structure that holds both costume and dancer in place. Exposed utility makes for a particularly fragile beauty. Opera coats and voluminous pleated skirts introduce a more powerful glamour. A cotton trench worn over a long billowing ostrich skirt suggests she is rushing elsewhere at the end of the performance with no time to change.


erdem-fall-winer-2021-1
erdem-fall-winer-2021-1
erdem-fall-winer-2021-1
erdem-fall-winer-2021-1
erdem-fall-winer-2021-1
erdem-fall-winer-2021-1
erdem-fall-winer-2021-1
erdem-fall-winer-2021-1
erdem-fall-winer-2021-1
erdem-fall-winer-2021-1
erdem-fall-winer-2021-1
erdem-fall-winer-2021-1
erdem-fall-winer-2021-1
erdem-fall-winer-2021-1
erdem-fall-winer-2021-1
erdem-fall-winer-2021-1
erdem-fall-winer-2021-1
erdem-fall-winer-2021-1
erdem-fall-winer-2021-1
erdem-fall-winer-2021-1
erdem-fall-winer-2021-1
erdem-fall-winer-2021-1
erdem-fall-winer-2021-1
erdem-fall-winer-2021-1
erdem-fall-winer-2021-1
erdem-fall-winer-2021-1
erdem-fall-winer-2021-1
erdem-fall-winer-2021-1
erdem-fall-winer-2021-1
erdem-fall-winer-2021-1
erdem-fall-winer-2021-1
erdem-fall-winer-2021-1
erdem-fall-winer-2021-1
erdem-fall-winer-2021-1
erdem-fall-winer-2021-1
erdem-fall-winer-2021-1
erdem-fall-winer-2021-1
erdem-fall-winer-2021-1
erdem-fall-winer-2021-1
erdem-fall-winer-2021-1
erdem-fall-winer-2021-1
erdem-fall-winer-2021-1
erdem-fall-winer-2021-1

ERDEM


Images courtesy of Erdem