The Erdem Pre-Fall 2020 collection was inspired by a woman who chose to use her immense white privilege and wealth to oppose the rise of fascism and support the work of black artists and writers.
In the heady days and long nights of 1930s London, the bright young things are the talk of the town. They have innate style, but they are fearless individuals with powerful personalities too. Nancy Cunard exemplifies the spirit of this particular place moment in time. One of the noblest heiresses, Cunard was a society fixture and a published poet. She was a patron and muse, a journalist and a vocal advocate against racism and prejudice, far ahead of the times. Glamour matched with eccentricity; style and opinion, grace, wit and grit, in equal measure.
These were characters that dressed to impress their peers and express themselves, and it is this duality that is captured in the collection. Lightness is balanced with strength, sweeping volumes are grounded with particular textures, sharp and jaunty tailoring is softened with prints.
Across the collection there is a mood of delicate defiance – an old order disrupted by something new. Until recently her nobility defined her identity, but now she is defined by her principles and not just her privilege. She might be dressed for a portrait, but she is here to be heard and not just seen.