July 28 2014

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2 posts tagged "Bora Aksu"

Istanbul Fashion Week Draws A Crowd


At the still-young Istanbul fashion week, which just completed its third season, the signs of an international fashion week seemed to be in place. Old shows (Chanel’s Spring ’10 hayride, for one) were playing on the hotel television. From the abbreviated crews of American, Italian, French, and British editors and retailers, you could easily pick out Anna Piaggi, Patricia Field, Susie Bubble, Satine’s Jeannie Lee, and Olivier Zahm. Even the absent Bryanboy wistfully tweeted that he’d like to be in the mix.

The runway offered up a mixed bag. There were the cartoony club clothes of Gunseli Turkay and the crafty futuristic eveningwear of Arzu Kaprol, an established designer with boutiques across the country. Central Saint Martins grad and Londoner Bora Aksu created a special collection just for the week, a parade of pretty pieces in nudes and pales with lingerie details inspired by a 100-year-old Istanbul shop called Butterfly Corset. But for his Spring ’11 collection, you’ll have to head to London, where he’ll show alongside countryman Hakaan Yildirim, who nabbed this year’s ANDAM prize.

“The inspiration is very literal, but it’s a first step,” said Los Angeles boutique owner Des Kohan. “The government is really positive, and there’s great buzz.” Kohan saw the pervading influence of Turkish Cypriot Hussein Chalayan, whose retrospective Hussein Chalayan: 1994-2010 is showing at Istanbul’s Museum of Modern Art. (It runs through October 24.) Chalayan, though, shows in Paris, as does another major Turkish export, Dice Kayek, the subject of a concurrent show at the museum called Istanbul/Contrast. And at a dinner for the latter label’s designer Ece Ege on the rooftop of the Marmara Pera hotel, Zahm (pictured with Ege, above) admitted the city inspired him more than the shows. “It’s the first time I’m here professionally. Istanbul has great energy; it’s like New York,” he said, before snapping pictures of the spectacular view. Truthfully, the week seemed to be more about discovering that than anything else.

Duro Olowu, Jasper Conran, Valentino, And More Make Tees For Haiti


Ask a designer his thought of the day during fashion week, and more often than not, you’ll get a frantic bit of last-minute show prep. But the ten designers commissioned for On/Off’s pop-up shop at London fashion week were sending good vibes. They had good reason to. The brains behind On/Off—LFW’s quirkier sidekick schedule—asked ten designers, including Duro Olowu, PPQ, Jasper Conran, and Bora Aksu, to contribute their thoughts and designs for limited-edition T-shirts (donated by Edun Live) to benefit Plan UK’s Haiti relief efforts. The £30 shirts have been selling thick and fast all week at On/Off. The thoughts here include “Breath,” “Laugh,” “Dare to Care and Share,” and “On the other hand, I’d like it if you did.” But as to which designer contributed which, your guess is as good as ours—the organizers kept the individual contributions anonymous. Olowu did let us in on his secret, though—his shirt reads, “Ayiti Cherie,” an old Creole phrase Haitians use to express love for their country and culture. “A disaster and suffering of such magnitude needs as much aid as it can get,” Olowu said. And to that end, as many T-shirts as he can make. The initial total run of 100 T-shirts met such a high demand that more are being made. For more information on purchasing those, visit

A similar good-cause idea occurred to Valentino’s Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli, who helped kick off Milan fashion week with a fête for their T-Shirt Couture line (pictured) and Stefano Guindani’s book of photographs of the Haiti. Their new, delicately ruffled white tees are also being sold to benefit Haitian charities. And while these shirts cost more than their London counterparts, the benefit to the ravaged country is all the greater. The tees are available for €250 online and in Valentino’s Parisian and Milanese boutiques during their respective fashion weeks.

Photo: Courtesy of Valentino