'the theatrical backstage set at Erdem made the fashion blood rise' Vogue

An Immersive happening and a 360 degree setting designed to be an immersive experience for the entire audience, each area of seating getting a unique angle and repeated views of the models appearing on their journey around the space. The inspiration Hitchcock, Oliver Messel the 1940’s Opera stage designer, Cecil Beaton and the trelliswork backgrounds he created for ‘My Fair lady’ and MGM studios. The Muses Marlene Dietrich and Gertrude Lawrence The derelict old Selfridges Hotel transformed into the backstage of a Bankrupt Film Studio on its last roll of the dice, with hand painted cloudscapes and sky backcloths lit with vintage movie lights and footlights. Where the models on their journey from understudy to starlet thread their way through the doorways of past stage sets, perspective Trellis archways, behind painted gauzes amongst abandoned props, giant Dahlia’s, Chandeliers in their transport frames, and a Polar Bear draped in a dust sheets, columns, balustrades, gilded cartouches, fake stairways, and doorways to nowhere.

. The Design and themes of the show and the collection developed simultaneously side by side, with the creation of mood boards for the collection and the setting that merged transforming into a three dimensional inspiration entirely filling the Old Selfridges Hotel. A haunting soundtrack of Bette Davis in 'All about Eve', its malign tale of understudy to star, and meddling Mrs Danvers in 'Rebecca'  dramatised the theatrical presentation of this unfolding story. The love theme from Hitchcock’s Vertigo by Bernard Herman swept all before it in a crescendo for the finale.

Erdem’s fascination with broken down decorum, and faded glamour, is shown on a grander scale here and the show continues the new age of theatricality and self-expression noted as a harbinger of his 2015 show.

Specially built elements as if from period film settings including perspective Trellis work archways, doorways, panels of custom made drapes, and a set of curving Hollywood steps mix with vintage theatre flattage, columns, balustrades, grand wall sconces and ceiling lights on an epic scale, surrounded with a large collection of hand painted sky, palm jungle, and Fragonard backcloths and vintage movie lights from Ancient Lights. 

The set pieces were built from my designs by Invisible Blue, drawn up by Joanna Pratt, the props were from prophouses in London, sourced personally and alongside Set Decorator Sophie Phillips, the settings dressed by Jemima Hawkins, Marko Waschke and Mark Keane.The set and show lighting was designed by Petter Skramstad of LX Lighting. The rigging of elements and lights by Adam Bullock.The ground crew was provided by Urban ground crew. The Bar and staff for theparty provided by Cellar Society.

In the evening after the show the immersive setting became the location for the London Fashion Week After party hosted by Erdem and Selfridges, and the theatrical sets created a unique bohemian atmosphere, a one off extraordinary night in central london, and provided many photo and instagram opportunities for the guests.

'Intoxicating Theatre' BoF

'nothing faded except the grandeur' FT

'dazzling dark romance' telegraph

'old Hollywood glamour 'ID

'an escape route to dreams'

Robin Brown