For Autumn Winter 2020 Erdem has worked closely with Robin Muir, curator of the “Bright Young Things” exhibition of Cecil Beaton’s early photography at London’s National Portrait Gallery. The exhibition was originally going to be called “The Age of Silver”, a title which Erdem has carried forward as inspiration for his collection.
As a young man with a big vision, at home with a Kodak A3 that Beaton was given for his twelfth birthday, he would create images and identities. With his sisters Nancy and Baba for sitters, he made do with bed sheets and tinfoil, billiard cues and brooms, pet birds and feather fans. In his sisters’ absence, he used a shutter delay timer and dressed himself, as male and female characters, historical and imaginary. Erdem had a fascination with Beaton becoming the muse and the muse becoming him.
The collection nodded to the decadence of the photographer’s work between the 1920s and ’30s. Metallic gowns, silver brocade suits, tissue lame and embellished pleats came down the runway. Black and white checkerboard print, inspired by Beaton’s early backdrops, adorned an oversized coat and full skirt and acid yellow punctuated the collection.