Over the past year, the world has been fascinated by Meghan Markle’s transformation from American starlet to British aristocrat. But she was hardly the first to make that leap.
For his fall ’18 collection, designer Erdem Moralioglu’s muse was Adele Astaire, the elder sister of Fred Astaire. A former showgirl from Scottsdale, Ariz., she married Lord Charles Cavendish, second son of the Duke of Devonshire, in 1932.
“She had been performing in London, and it was there where the duke was in the audience and fell in love with her,” said Moralioglu. Astaire gave up her career after their marriage, and the couple went on to live in Ireland’s remote Lismore Castle.
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Moralioglu first heard about Astaire when he attended a wedding at the manor. “I was totally intrigued,” said the Canadian designer. “She was a strong, independent woman who gave up everything for love. She married into a very formal aristocratic family when it wasn’t the done thing to be a career woman.” Parallels abound with the union of Prince Harry and former “Suits” actress Markle. Moralioglu explained of his fall collection, “I imagined [Adele] roaming the moors wearing brogues with her spangled vaudeville dresses, and it was that kind of contrast that I loved.”
That thematic juxtaposition played out in the collection’s floral jacquards, mannish tweeds, androgynous brogues and 1920s kitten heels. And the offerings come paired with spotted stockings, another reference to Astaire, who was a fan of the polka — both the dance and the dot.
Erdem Fall 2018 Ready-to-Wear Show at London Fashion Week
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