KICKSTARTING London Fashion Week, Bora Aksu presented his spring-summer collection. Having been part of London Fashion Week for the past 14 years, Aksu is a fashion week favourite and is renowned for his dark, Romantic designs.
Many film stars – such as Keira Knightley, Emily Blunt, Rachel McAdams, Elle Fanning, Anya Taylor Joy and more – have been seen donning the Turkish-born designer’s creations over the past few years at red carpets, galas and other important events. With such intense pressure to deliver, the latest offering is no disappointment.
Tapping into his roots, Aksu explores Turkish heritage and culture through the collection. Aksu took a research trip to Istanbul to gain specific insight into niche motifs, patterns and imagery he could reference throughout the collection.
The show’s colour palette heavily displayed the intense research into his culture – a mélange of soft blues, whites, and painted florals all allude to Ottoman palaces and patterns from Iznik tiles.
Additionally, rich, opulent fabrics are utilised in tandem with dramatic accessories and details to highlight the demi-couture designer’s luxurious, refined aesthetic.
Despite being set in a British courtyard, attendees were transported to Turkey through Aksu’s enthusiastic use of tulle, lace and knitted layering pieces.
The collection acts as a love letter to Aksu’s upbringing and culture. Incorporating pieces referencing his mother’s hand-knitted dresses and his grandmother’s crochet blankets, the designer focuses on childhood nostalgia, comfort and support. His mother’s unfinished blankets were cleverly up-cycled into a series of fez hats featured throughout the collection.
The ethereal, whimsical looks were further elevated by the expert styling of Leith Clark. Juxtaposing gentle, fluid, harmonious silhouettes with metallic golden boots, the models appeared stately and regal as they glided down the runway.
Voluminous, baby doll silhouettes captured the audience’s attention thanks to Aksu’s use of hand-drawn lace and embroidered dresses, Meanwhile, tailored, cropped jackets and other structural pieces juxtapose the tulle sensations to create further intrigue and fascination.
Known for his gothic approach to Romanticism, the collection also featured a selection of looks carefully created utilising black lace, organza and tulle.
Despite the stark contrast between the black, darker hues and the rest of the vibrant outfits, the looks added an element of mysticism and mystery to the seasonal offering.
Staying true to his signature design codes, Aksu incorporated many Peter Pan collars, lace trims and Romantic details to deliver a cohesive, picturesque collection for the beginning of London’s week-long celebration.
by Sophie Richardson