The Dream Country Getaway Come To Life
Full of narratives, memories and stories, ERDEM x H&M is a deeply personal collection that looks back to the designer’s youth, and to the codes that have defined his work over the past decade. It’s about the romantic dresses he saw in English films, his father’s coat that his mother draped over her shoulders, or the cool style of 90’s TV and music videos. To create ERDEM x H&M, he imagined the dream English countryside getaway, mixing gowns with tailoring, functionality with drama, as different generations and backgrounds interpret the wardrobe with each individuals own style.
We had a chance to interview the creative designer at Erdem, as well the Head of design at H&M to give us a closer insight into the collection and how they came about it.
The Designer: ERDEM
How can you relate to this collection in terms of your youth and how you first started discovering your passion for design?
It was really fun looking back with this collection, both to my own designs since I started my label twelve years ago, but also to my youth growing up in Canada. I’ve so many memories, like when my sister borrowed my fleece to wear over a slip dress on a night out, or how my mother would put my father’s Harris Tweed overcoat over her shoulders when she would drive us to school. So many of my memories involve clothes and how people wore them, and it was great to get these memories into the ERDEM x H&M collection.
ERDEM’s collections always feature pieces with floral prints, it’s somewhat of a classic. Will we be seeing some florals in this collaboration?
My thinking with flowers has always been about the feminine. I’m fascinated by things that imply femininity, whether it is flowers, a fabric like lace or certain silhouette. I love the timelessness of floral prints, and that you can’t tell if it is 50 or 100 years old, or is brand new. We’ve worked with many different floral prints in ERDEM x H&M, playing with pattern, color and scale.
As this is ERDEM’s first collaboration with H&M, what reaction do you expect from the public?
To be honest I’m only just coming to terms with the scale of what we’re doing! It feels like a very democratic act to offer what I do to such a large group of people in so many countries, many of whom may never have worn my work before. I hope that people find pieces that they can love, and that they will want to absorb into their wardrobe and wear it for many years to come.
What are the key pieces that are definitely going to be must have pieces from the collection?
Every piece is key, but if I had to pick a few, I’d start with the beautiful double-breasted suit, which is a version of the suit we’ve cut for men.
For women, it looks so wonderful and relevant. I love the sinuous sequined slip dress that’s embroidered all over with vivid flowers, and the hoodie that’s embroidered all over with the same florals – I’d love to see someone wear the two together. Then there’s the pleated dress, which is inspired by a dress from my very first collection, and a dress that combines crepe with guipure lace that’s cut on the bias and spirals up the body.
Will there be future collaborations to look forward to?
I’m so proud of the ERDEM x H&M collection. My label is very personal to me, and I’m very protective of what we do. I only ever collaborate when things feel totally right, and for now this is the only collaboration that we’re working on.
Head of Design at H&M: Ann-Sofie Johansson
How is this collaboration different than H&M’s previous ones?
At H&M we always strive to challenge ourselves to bring something new with each collaboration. This wish of surprise to our customers is essential to these collaborations. The timing felt right for a collaboration with a British designer well known for his romantic and feminine style after sassy Balmain and street smart KENZO.
H&M customers and wearers wait for these collaborations eagerly, what are the reactions you hope to get this time?
I know, we have a lot of fans of our designer collaboration, which makes me very happy! We’re hoping for and naturally expect a positive reaction from our customers. It will be very exciting to see how for some of our customers it will be their first experience with ERDEM’s magic universe, giving the opportunity to as many as possible to have a garment from a designer that wouldn’t be affordable for them in other circumstances.
What are your favorite pieces from this collection?
It is hard to select only one, I love all of them! I really like the jacquard suit, the Harris Tweed garments or the leopard fake fur long coat, together with the jewel bag, making the whole outfit very cool. I love to mix the collection with garments from the men’s collection, such as the silk pyjama.
What aspect of the collection makes it blend within H&M’s style?
With each of our collaborations, we say to the designers that we want the true essence of their brand and bring it to H&M customers. The result is a beautiful collection very wearable, versatile and affordable at the same time, which is the essence of our style.
If you were to pick one piece and style it the “H&M way” which would it be, and how would you style it?
It is tricky to me to only style one piece, the whole collection is amazing and very versatile! You can easily dress it up or dress it down depending on different occasions. For example, you can mix the lace blouses or the long dresses from this collection with a masculine style blazer over your shoulders to get the look. This “twin” feeling between men and women – the mix between both genres – is something he had explored for us and enriches the collection.