Erdem: Ready-To-Wear AW24

Maria Callas would have been 100 years old in December 2023 and for the last two collections Erdem Moralıoğlu has been exploring the iconic opera singer’s many complexities. His pre-fall collection found the designer imagining himself backstage with Callas but for autumn 2024, the diva took centre stage. The show, set in the British Museum among the disputed Elgin Marbles, provided a dramatic backdrop — per the show notes we were taking our seats in 1953 for a career-defining performance of Medea. It wasn’t a figure of speech as we were treated to a live performance of her aria.

As the music swelled, filling the cavernous space, Guinevere van Seenus opened the show in a pale green opera coat worn over a white bralette and paired with marabou flats. From there the shows segued into Moralıoğlu’s interpretation of Callas’ signature wardrobe for the modern woman. There were floral printed crop tops with matching skirts, swingy coats that swaddled the shoulders, and feather trimmed dresses that appeared to float down the runway. Mixed in were faux fur coats that added the glamorous appeal. To close the show, van Seenus made a second lap across the runway, this time in a rose embroidered version of the coat that opened the show — the diva has come to graciously accept her flowers during her encore.

In the show notes Moralıoğlu talks about Medea being uprooted as was Callas, who was born in America as a Greek national and went on to live a nomadic life. This sense of belonging nowhere helped the soprano embody her role — a raw emotion that can only come from being between worlds. Set against the Elgin Marbles, you can’t help but wonder what else he’s referring to when he describes a longing for home.

Photography courtesy of Erdem

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