10 Minutes with: Erdem Moralioglu - Neiman Marcus
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10 Minutes with: Erdem Moralioglu

Regina Campbell

May 20, 2014

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“There is a wonderful kind of laid-backness to Los Angeles that I find really great. The mix of casual and formal is so refreshing, seeing someone wear a Chanel jacket with jeans, it’s great,” says London-based designer Erdem Moralioglu. The mix has quickly become one of Moralioglu’s signatures. This season, the designer juxtaposes feminine and masculine elements like lace and leather. After presenting his Spring 2014 collection at NM Beverly Hills, Moralioglu and I discussed his inspiration, technology and craftsmanship over refreshing Arnold Palmers – the designer’s favorite “American” beverage.

NM: Describe the Spring 2014 collection.
EM: I was looking at these very English institutions – Oxford, boarding school and Henley. I was looking at all of these things that are archetypically male, but I love the idea of this girl dressed as a boy to go to school. The androgyny felt very interesting.

NM: What is it about masculine characteristics that you find intriguing when designing for women?
EM: When I started in fashion I was thinking about this masculine element. The idea of androgyny progressed and then it faded away and became layered in so many different things, like the motorcycle jacket in my spring collection.

I found myself at the beginning of the season in my studio, and mannequins in white palette coats surrounded me and there was something so fresh and beautiful about these very pure forms. That eventually took over as the overriding feeling of what I was trying to achieve for the season. I love the idea of something very clean and modern.

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NM: Describe the women you design for.
EM: She is someone who I draw every season and the more I do this (I’m 8 years into doing it) the more I understand who she is but at the same time lose sight of her. I think to myself who is this woman that lives in Los Angeles, Hong Kong or Beijing…? The more you become self aware, the more you realize there is to learn.

NM: What does craftsmanship mean to you?
EM: Mora than anything the idea of the human hand, it’s such and important thing. I’ve always been into textile development and fit and those two areas have so much to do with where craftsmanship is.

NM: How do you balance technology and craftsmanship?
EM: I find technology very interesting and I think a lot of people seem uninspired. Using a heat technology to bond a dress together, that exploration I find very interesting. Whether it’s a digital print, new embroidery or a weird new material, I find it extremely exciting.

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NM: Describe a space where you are most comfortable to create.
EM: When I was a student at the Royal College of Art in London, I would always sit in the same chair on the second floor of the library and draw and draw and draw. I always felt very comfortable there and I still go back at times.

NM: What excited you most about designing?
EM: Exploring and pushing myself and discovering something new about the women I design for and myself. To have the freedom to create a new world each season is extremely exciting.

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