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Erdem Moralioğlu Knows What Middle Eastern Women Want


London-based designer Erdem Moralioğlu, behind his eponymous label Erdem, recently made his first visit to Kuwait for an event hosted in his honor on behalf of Al Othman boutique. Renowned for his signature feminine silhouettes, versatile dresses, and separates that feature lace, intricate embroidery, and floral prints, Moralioğlu’s presence in the Middle East spans more than a decade. On the heels of launching his brand in 2006, the Kuwait-based luxury boutique snapped it up and became one of the first stores in the world to carry Erdem.

Amid mannequins outfitted in the designer’s Fall 2016 ready-to-wear collection dispersed throughout the store’s contemporary interior, Moralioğlu talked about his inspiration behind the dresses that held an old Hollywood narrative of girls marching into an audition, which sees 1930’s bias-cuts mixed with 1920’s flapper dresses. “I like mixing from different decades,” he explained.

When asked about which pieces he hoped the Middle Eastern woman would find appealing, Moralioğlu pointed to the long-sleeved, gunmetal sequin dress and the floral embroidered cape. “My Middle Eastern customer has an absolute desire for things that are special, individual, and have this ‘exclusivity’ to them,” he revealed.

Since establishing his brand in 2005, Moralioğlu honed his technique of mixing materials with delicate details and textures. Discussing his aesthetic he admitted, “I’ve always been really fascinated by feminine things that have a human hand to them. I’m so hands on with developing my own fabrics and embroideries, and I love that none of the clothes are altered to suit this market,” he added.

While Moralioğlu captured the attention of women for his feminine silhouettes, he revealed a childhood secret that first drew him to dresses. “I remember my first grade teacher would sit on the edge of the desk with her legs crossed; very neatly, properly, and conservatively,” he reminisced. “You could always kind of see the outline of her long dress with a sliver of her ankle showing. I remember how wonderful I thought it was that women had these secrets and layers—and that’s what I find so fascinating.”

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