On Wednesday night, H&M and Erdem touched down in the heart of Los Angeles for an exclusive event to celebrate their designer collaboration. As if a gorgeous runway show weren’t enough, there was also a pop-up shop, a screening by Baz Luhrmann, and a surprise concert by Grimes. For the site of the launch event, H&M and Erdem transformed a historic club in Los Angeles into a breathtakingly lush English floral garden, or better yet, into their own “Garden of Erdem.” The mood was dark and moody, and attendees were brimming with excitement and anticipation as they sipped on aromatic cocktails. Gorgeous floral arrangements filled the interior of the Ebell Los Angeles and continued outdoors for the runway show.
Actresses Kate Bosworth, Kirsten Dunst, Kate Mara, Zendaya, and Selma Blair were a few of the more than 300 guests who helped celebrate Erdem Moralioglu’s magical creations for the Swedish fashion brand.
Top models from Alek Wek to Ruth Bell walked the catwalk, as guests sat in an assortment of Victorian chairs. The collection presented gender-bending looks worn by male and female models alike. A men’s burgundy floral pajama shirt on a female model paired with trousers was juxtaposed with a male model wearing a women’s-style textured leather shoulder bag. There were also plenty of signature Erdem dreamy, dark romantic floral dresses, sparkling floral sequin dresses, as well as more casual pieces like cotton hoodies and floral printed T-shirts. Moralioglu played with the idea of masculinity and femininity, pairing often soft, feminine silhouettes, like a floral dress, with an edgy masculine shoe like a combat boot; or styling a tailored tweed blazer with a feminine floral frock.
“All these kinds of mixes makes it more tomboyish — a mix of high and low. It’s how people dress today. It’s all blurred lines now, which is more fun, in my opinion,” Ann-Sofie Johansson, H&M’s creative director.
The menswear collection, Moralioglu’s first foray into menswear, is fresh, exciting, and includes some of the most coveted pieces from the new collection. The men’s pajamas were one of the first looks to sell out at the evening’s pop-up shop, the look Kirsten Dunst chose to wear to the event.
“It was interesting to see how the women’s collection was affected by the men’s and the men’s collection was affected by the women’s. So it’s this incredible kind of fluidity between the two,” Moralioglu shares with Yahoo Lifestyle. Moralioglu has an interesting explanation for what shaped his perspective on gender in fashion: “I have a twin sister, so I always grew up with this sense that your sex doesn’t define anything. You’re completely equal.”
This is clearly visible in the collection. A sea of tweed, florals, and brogues were seen across the spectrum of menswear to womenswear — from the dresses to the blazers, to the trousers and shoes.
Although H&M is considered a fast-fashion company, Moralioglu didn’t want to make fast-fashion clothes, since that has never been his approach to design. “I’ve always been very interested, in my own work, [in] what makes something feel permanent,” he says. “What is it about a garment that makes you want to keep it forever? That was so much of what I was exploring.”
Moralioglu has dressed some of the world’s most stylish and fierce women, from Emma Watson to Michelle Obama to Kate Middleton, but the biggest compliment for him is when he spots a woman on the street in one of his designs. “To see someone just walking down the street whom I don’t know — and is just a woman who is wearing my dress but doesn’t know whether I am a male designer or female either — but just someone who bought the dress because it made her feel beautiful — that, to me, is the strongest compliment.”
The Erdem x H&M collection officially launches online at hm.com and in stores on Nov. 2.
Below, a video recap of the night’s highlights: