Erdem Autumn/Winter 2024

Words Adele Cany

For Autumn Win­ter 24, we are tak­ing our seats in 1953 for a career-defin­ing per­for­mance of Medea by Maria Callas. The pro­duc­tion was like alche­my. Callas did not play the role; she inhab­it­ed a per­sona with such force to the point that the bound­ary between artist and per­for­mance van­ished. Dis­be­lief, sus­pend­ed utter­ly. The col­lec­tion explores the thin realm between myth and real­i­ty, on stage and off stage, dressed and undressed, per­son and per­sona, sor­cery and seduc­tion.

Here is a woman with a voice at the height of her pow­ers com­mand­ing a world stage, far beyond the the­atre. There are oth­er­world­ly feel­ings at play, too. The pagan res­o­nance of myth and leg­end trick­les down time from Ancient Greece to Mod­ern Europe. Callas chan­nels pas­sion, pain and vengeance in a beat.

Like Medea, Callas was uproot­ed. Born in Amer­i­ca as a Greek nation­al, her tal­ent would con­sign her to a nomadic and chaot­ic life. The absence of home was poignant and pro­found. Her voice is described as raw, under­pinned by an aching or yearn­ing that lent itself to tragedy. She belonged on the stage — but a stage is not a home. Callas retired in 1965 and with­drew from the pub­lic eye, dying alone in Paris in 1977. Her ash­es were returned to Greece where they were scat­tered in the Aegean Sea.

See the full col­lec­tion below: