Updated: Sep 2, 2020
There’s a certain alchemy to fashion design, a magic in the way a two-dimensional sketch becomes a pouf of teal brocade on the runway. At Erdem Moralioglu’s studio in the eastern reaches of London, Vogue got an in-depth preview of that process, starting with Moralioglu’s circular sketch and ending with the confection worn by Matilde Buoso on the runway.
The blouson frock was one of the earliest to come to the designer for his Fall 2019 collection, which was inspired by Italian Principessa Orietta Doria Pamphilj, who left Italy for the swinging London scene in the 1960s. A marriage of old-world tradition—this dress is made from a custom Italian fil coupé—and the mod, round shapes of the ’60s, this dress “summarizes” the collection, according to the designer. And yet, crafting this scoop of shimmering fabric was not as easy as it might seem.
After draping the dress in muslin, Moralioglu and his team built out several iterations of the look in the fil-coupé material, tweaking and perfecting the bubble-like shape. A little bit of tulle was added to the back for that extra oomph while the bustier top was cinched just so to allow for a slight definition of the female shape. Two days before the show, Moralioglu and company were still perfecting the silhouette—without breaking a sweat, of course. “It’s strangely calm,” he demurred in the studio.
By the morning of the show at the National Portrait Gallery, the look was hung on a rack for Buoso, guarded by a doting dresser. “I feel like a 2019 princess, a person who is ready to go out and show who she is, but in a cool way,” the model said before the runway. Worn with romantic earrings, a black choker, fishnet tights, and catty little ankle boots, Buoso’s ensemble was one of the show’s closing looks, a spritely offering among Moralioglu’s sweeping gowns and long floral trains. Watch how it all came together in Vogue’s exclusive video, here.