London: Always unabashedly romantic, Erdem Moralioglu summoned the spirits of an enchanted forest for fall, mixed in with a healthy dose of schoolgirl naiveté remembered from his childhood in Canada. Placed butterfly motifs and embroideries fluttered over bell-shaped cocktail frocks, A-line maxi skirts and schoolgirl sweaters that were, adorably, a few sizes too small. Fractals of fall foliage and mystical creatures were digitally pasted together, the details and colors so intense that it was hard to tell whether there was real texture or merely surface illusion. Actual dimension came in the form of coats with allover tassels, dresses appliquéd with raw-edged georgette and guipure lace shifts embroidered with colored outlines. It all added up to a visual feast, with a few leather pieces and tailored trenchcoat dresses providing a welcome respite from the kaleidoscope of jewel tones and frills. However, one has to admire the unwavering conviction in Erdem’s work. The designer has drawn many comparisons to Christian Lacroix, and with that venerable house currently mired in financial straits, it is nice to see that all romance is not dead.
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