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3 posts tagged "Istanbul"

Designer Diary: Daniel Vosovic’s Postcard from Istanbul


As a member of the CFDA’s Fashion Incubator program, Daniel Vosovic was sent on an inspiration trip to Istanbul. Here, he shares the details of his Turkish getaway with

After presenting my Fall 2013 collection in New York in February, I took a break from my design studio and headed off to Istanbul to discover all of Turkey’s delights (and, hopefully, to find inspiration for Spring 2014). Having never been to Istanbul, I had no idea what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised. I was joined by my boyfriend Kieran, the CFDA’s Johanna Stout and her boyfriend Stewart, and CR Fashion Book online editor (and alum) Kristin Tice Studeman. With the W Istanbul Hotel as our base camp, we began each day savoring the country’s specialties, like dates and Turkish coffee. Afterward, we would explore the city’s breathtaking landmarks, like the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia, and admire the unmatched talents of local artisans. What I treasured most, however, were the little moments spent with local shop owners, who taught me about the making of a Turkish rug, or wandering on to one of the hundreds of crooked side streets in search of an adventure.

A lesson for Istanbul: Always look up. Some of the most incredible artwork is on the ceiling.

Searching for Turkish delights—tea and more—at the bustling Spice Market. Continue Reading “Designer Diary: Daniel Vosovic’s Postcard from Istanbul” »

Istanbul’s “Sense Of Opportunity And Possibility” Draws A Crowd—Including Dunst, Swinton, Ackermann, And Love


Istanbul’s population unofficially tops 16 million. This past weekend, it felt like every single one of them owned a car—or at least was driving one. Guests at Istancool—the second Istanbul International Festival of Culture, to give it its full title—became intimately acquainted with the world through a minibus window as they negotiated the route from the Edition Hotel (seven stars! and a Snow Room!) to the various venues around the city. It was a useful education. Istanbul sits at a huge crossroads, geographically (obviously) but also conceptually. Michael Stipe, there for a presentation of his Collapse Into Now film project, went so far as to compare Istanbul’s “sense of opportunity and possibility” to the feeling New York has always given him. The project—a work in progress—has been corralling filmmakers to produce short pieces to accompany songs on the latest R.E.M. album. Liberatum offered a first view of a fast, furious, and funny film James Franco has made for “That Someone Is You,” which was the kind of coup that is critical to the festival’s success, according to Jefferson Hack, who hosted the Stipe event. (His magazine Another was the festival’s media collaborator.)

A different kind of coup was the presence of Kirsten Dunst and Tilda Swinton, both just off the plane from Cannes, where Dunst won Best Actress for Lars von Trier’s Melancholia. At 29, she has already spent more than two decades onscreen and experienced as many character-building extremes as show business can hurl at a young woman. (Lest we forgot, the heavily accented English translator of her Turkish introduction sonorously intoned, “We know her as the lover of the spiderman.”) Nevertheless, Dunst was gratifyingly, girlishly floored by her Cannes award. And she looked appropriately radiant in her Chanel couture at Istancool’s gala dinner. Continue Reading “Istanbul’s “Sense Of Opportunity And Possibility” Draws A Crowd—Including Dunst, Swinton, Ackermann, And Love” »

The New-Old, Old-New, And The Old-Old
At Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar


Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar is a shopper’s Shangri-la, but (surprise, surprise) all isn’t as it seems. On the hunt for jewelry, you quickly realize that the many black-around-the-edges estate pieces that catch your eye probably aren’t much older than a kindergartner. These new-old pieces hold little allure. Next!

On the advice of a couple of chic acquaintances, I sought out Sevan Bicakci, a jewelry designer whose pieces—mostly spectacularly bejeweled rings (above)—aren’t masquerading as anything but the mini works of art that they are. (Strictly speaking, Bicakci is located on a street radiating out of the bazaar, but he’s in the neighborhood.) Bicakci, 38, began apprenticing at the age of 12 and by now has developed techniques that boggle the mind, like micro-mosaic work—there may be thousands of tiny tiles on the side of a ring. Knowing that, it won’t surprise you that the workshop’s annual output is a minuscule, inhuman-level-of-attention-to-detail 400 pieces.

“We like to push limits and conquer new areas,” said Bicakci’s creative director, Emre Dilaver. (Bicakci, who looks a bit like a Turkish Alber Elbaz, doesn’t speak English.) But the beauty of these innovative pieces is how they plumb the city’s Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman heritage as well as Greek mythology for inspiration. Each piece is an exquisite little history lesson. And while the rings appear purloined from the treasury of Emperor Justinian—the gold-haloed visage of his wife, Empress Theodora, adorns one specimen—they’re quite modern, certainly modern enough to sell at Barneys and Browns. These are happily the Old-New.

And within the Bazaar, there are true Old-Old treasures to be found, too. Try Mavi Kose, which has the added allure of historical significance—Grace Kelly is said to have shopped there. Located in the Old Bazaar section, Mavi Kose’s two stalls are presided over by the Yoda-like Mr. Diran Ozculcu. You can try on one of the antique diamond brooches and pendants, vintage watches, and more by applying to an aide, but to bargain and buy, you sit with the man himself, as I did when getting serious over a pair of rose-cut diamond earrings. I took the occasion to do a little fact-checking. Is it true that Grace Kelly shopped here? I asked. He nodded. One time or many times? The answer: many times. I bought the story and the jewels.