The Aesthete: Erdem Moralioglu talks more personal taste

The fashion designer rounds up his list of likes with the “ultra-cool” Truman Capote, an unforgettable villa in Positano and Paris’s Porte de Vanves fleamarket

Erdem Moralioglu at home in London
Erdem Moralioglu at home in London | Image: Kate Martin

My style icon is the young Truman Capote – his nipped-in suits were very snappy and I’ve always thought he looked ultra-cool.

Truman Capote
Truman Capote | Image: Bettmann Archive

The best gift I’ve received recently was a full set of Schmincke oils from L Cornelissen & Son, a glorious art shop near the British Museum. I watercolour my fashion illustrations sometimes, but I’ve never used oils and I really want to find time to start painting again. 105 Great Russell Street, London WC1 (020-7636 1045;


An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year is Positano. I went with my partner Philip for a friend’s birthday and we stayed at Villa TreVille, which was once Franco Zeffirelli’s house. It is extraordinary: you enter via a door in the side of a mountain and take a lift down to this long, tiled corridor. There’s a beautiful living room decorated with hand-painted tiles and it still has the original furniture; it opens out onto this incredible wrap-around balcony overlooking the Mediterranean. It’s the most beautiful place in the world and so chic.

Moralioglu’s set of Schmincke oils from L Cornelissen & Son
Moralioglu’s set of Schmincke oils from L Cornelissen & Son | Image: Kate Martin

The books on my bedside table include Writings by Truman Capote, as well as his Portraits and Observations, a collection of short stories and essays from his career that includes wonderful portraits of stars like Elizabeth Taylor and a story about spending a weekend in Japan with Marlon Brando – I love his acidity. I’m also reading Sporting Guide, about Los Angeles in 1897, by my friend Liz Goldwyn, and Wilderness Tips, a book of short stories by Margaret Atwood.

Porte de Vanves fleamarket in Paris
Porte de Vanves fleamarket in Paris | Image: Getty Images/Lonely Planet Images

In my fridge you’ll always find pickled onions – any type, I’m not fussy, though I quite like the M&S ones – milk for my tea, champagne, even though I don’t really drink it, a bottle of Gamay and some pâté.

Wilderness Tips by Margaret Atwood
Wilderness Tips by Margaret Atwood

The objects I would never part with are my parents’ photo albums, typical faux-leather padded books with yellowing, sticky pages full of memories. I have co-ownership with my twin sister but they are in my care at the moment.


My favourite room in my house is my bedroom, which my partner Philip has remodelled. The house is in Dalston on a square and was built in the 1860s. We have a huge window at the end of the bed with a built-in bench and bookshelf, and you can look out over the Victorian rooftops – it’s a real London view.

If I didn’t live in London, the city I would live in is Paris. I’d have an apartment in the Marais, where Au Petit Fer à Cheval would be my local bar and bistro – it’s so typically French and a very intimate space to meet friends. I’d go to Comptoir de l’Image or Les Mots à la Bouche for books, and the Porte de Vanves fleamarket, which is my guilty pleasure whenever I am in town – you can find almost anything there, from vintage glass to beautiful midcentury furniture. Au Petit Fer à Cheval, 30 Rue Vielle du Temple, 75004 (+331-4272 4747). Comptoir de l’Image, 44 Rue de Sévigné, 75003 (+331-4272 0392). Les Mots à la Bouche, 6 Rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie, 75004 (+331-4278 8830; Marché aux Puces, Porte de Vanves, Avenue Georges Lafenestre, 75014 (

The people I rely on for personal grooming and wellbeing are Michael, my local barber on Columbia Road, and Margie Pope, Gergo Babgaldi and Alan Henderson at Body Studio where I train every week. I also run along the canal to keep fit, but other than that I am quite low maintenance. Michael Harding, 53 Columbia Road, London E2 ( Body Studio, 89A Rivington Street, London EC2 (020-7729 0111;

If I weren’t doing what I do, I would be a dancer. I’ve recently become friends with Lauren Cuthbertson, principal at The Royal Ballet, and I was thinking how amazing it would be if I could touch my toes. But that’s never going to happen now, so I guess being a vintage bookstore owner would be a good second choice.

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