For his Spring/Summer 2024 collection, designer Erdem Moralioglu composes a story of heritage and identity through the lens of Deborah “Debo” Cavendish, the late Duchess of Devonshire, and her relationship with Chatsworth House.
Erdem was bestowed access to the wondrous archive of Debo. Working closely with the Cavendish family, the archivists at Chatsworth, and Helen Marchant (Debo’s private secretary), Erdem created a miraculous collection that is inspired by Debo’s wardrobe and an embodiment of her spirit and vision.
The collection layered Debo’s dedication to spreading the foundations for Chatsworth’s future, combined with her formidable warmth, and hands-on, no-nonsense attitude. Antique textiles from Chatsworth were intertwined into fragments for dresses and coat linings. A deconstructed gown highlights remnants of Debo’s 1940’s floral curtains, hand embroidered by Cecily Lasnet, Debo’s great-granddaughter.
Capturing Debo’s eccentric essence, fragments and memories of her life were pieced together to create a lookbook that dances between a house and a human, mirroring their symbiotic relationship. 1940’s silhouettes include full, vivid-print gowns and tulle skirts, Elvis-inspired studded leather jackets, jeweled lingerie dresses, kilt suits, and tattering tweeds. Luscious fabrics including embroidered organza, sequin mesh, and chantilly lace were scattered across the collection.
Quirky bug jewelry, Debo’s forte, was reflected on dragonfly brooches and a two-pronged tiara inspired by a pair of insect antennae. Dainty colorings were painted across the collection in hues of ballerina pink, crushed ivory, silver, lupine blue, and canary yellow.
Chatsworth thrives today thanks to Deborah’s legacy, and Erdem powerfully embodied her spirit in the Spring/Summer 2024 collection.