Fashionistas have again descended on the capital for London Fashion Week, which opened on Friday, 15 Sep. Over 100 designers from around the world are showcasing their new collections on the catwalk, among them acclaimed London-based Turkish designer Bora Aksu.
His Spring/Summer 2018 (SS18) collection debuted with a stunning catwalk at the British Fashion Council’s Shows Space on the opening day of LFW. In keeping with his style of drawing on textile traditions of Turkey, Aksu’s latest creations were made of handwoven kutnu fabric, which originates from Gaziantep, a city in Turkey’s southeast.
Inspiration for the designs came from the extraordinary life of Lady Mihri Müşfik, an aristocrat’s daughter who gave up her privileged life to pursue her passion for art and a bohemian existence. The fashion designer saluted the first female artist of the Republican era, who until recently was neglected as a major female figure in Turkish history, by reinterpreting Müşfik’s early wardrobe for the runway.
Bora Aksu’s SS18 collection: “visually stunning and highly covetable”
Aksu’s vintage-like pieces combined edgy modern structured shapes with beautiful bohemian femininity. Ruffles, lace and tulle trims were heavily on display, along with soft feminine touches, as lace gloves and dainty ankle socks adorned outfits. The kutnu coutures were dipped into a striking mix of fiery deep Anatolian red, monochrome, and pastel shades, dressed with silk organzas, cottons and silk habotais – a fabric first pioneered in Japan. The overall look was described by Yahoo UK Style Editor Zoe Dubs as “visually stunning and highly covetable”.
Kutnu is made from silk and cotton, and woven by hand looms in Gaziantep – one of the main Anatolian heartlands. The fabric’s history dates back to the sixteenth century when it was the symbol of nobility and power in the Ottoman Empire, mainly used in the kaftans of sultans. Aksu discovered kutnu when he travelled to Gaziantep for the first time earlier this year, describing the material as “extremely luxurious, healthy and noble”, which is likely to become a regular feature in his future designs.
Making Gaziantep’s traditional fabric centre stage at one of the most prestigious fashion events in the world has won Aksu a legion of new fans. Among the audience for his Friday LFW show were Fatma Şahin, the Mayor of Gaziantep, Jülide Konukoğlu, President of the Kutnu Promotion Group and Adil Konukoğlu, President of Gaziantep Industry Chamber, who afterwards expressed their admiration for the designer and his new collection.