Erdem Is H&M’s 2017 Designer Collaborator—And Baz Luhrmann Is Directing the Campaign
by SARAH MOWER, Vogue Magazine
Next up at H&M? It’s Erdem. A two-hour drive from London, deep into the Hampshire countryside, along a winding lane, past a tucked-away gatehouse, through swaths of secluded parkland, and up a hill lies a dilapidated Palladian house where mysterious fashion activity has been taking place this week. On one side of the house, a man was patiently spray painting the lawn a little greener. Beyond it lay a vista of tents. One was packed with clothes, and inside it was Erdem Moralioglu and the team from H&M.
Quite a surprise, this, because anyone who knows London’s most successfully romantic, cinematically minded independent designer also knows how charmingly adept he is at turning down almost every business approach that’s come his way in his label’s 12 years of existence. So why H&M? “He gets to try out a few things he hasn’t done before,” says Ann-Sofie Johansson, H&M’s creative adviser. “Like, it’s my first menswear,” said Moralioglu, laughing. “And the menswear informs the women and vice versa; I’m thinking of my sister wearing a tweed jacket over a tea dress and trainers. And what our parents were wearing when they met in the ’60s.”
The actual contents of the collection will be closely guarded until its November 2 launch in 66 countries. Suffice to say, there are plenty of the flowers and pretty blouses that are Moralioglu’s signature. “He’s a perfectionist and challenging at the same time,” says Johansson. “He knows exactly what he wants: The lace should look like this!”
“Seriously, though, I’ve seen it as something that is the opposite of what you’d associate with fast fashion,” Moralioglu says. “I want it to be pieces you’ll be wearing in 10 years’ time, as women do with my own clothes.”
But the other part of the attraction for a designer who always thinks of clothes as a kind of character study and formed an early attachment to Merchant Ivory films? Having Baz Luhrmann to work with, surely. It was his presence that explained a hillside parking lot jam-packed with trucks and catering vans and the vast delivery of delphiniums and flowers that had arrived to be transported through the front door, strewn up staircases, and festooned from balconies. A mini movie was in progress for the Erdem x H&M launch, with a script Luhrmann has written. More than this we may not know until the big day. Regarding the short clip you see here, Luhrmann exclaimed, “It’s a teaser!”