LFW AW10 report: Bora Aksu

20 February 2010

Bora Aksu graduated from Central St Martin's in 2002 and has been steadily  gaining a reputation as a designer to be reckoned with ever since. His debut collection was purchased By Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana for inspiration, he was awarded the Topshop NewGen award on four consecutive occasions, and he subsequently made the transition from off-schedule to on-schedule.

For AW/10, Aksu describes his collection as being like 'Marie Antoinette meets Edward Scissorhands" which might sound contradictory, but actually makes perfect sense. Yes, the collection is gothic but it's not the razor-sharp, tight gothicism we've come to know. This is a fluffier gothicism; more 'soft-goth' than sharp-goth.   

Primarily, this stems from Aksu's use of a palette of princess-style pastels accented with harder shades. Salmon, pale lilac, baby pink and duck-egg blue are matched with pewter, black and hessian. His combination of textures adds again to the contradiction between soft and sharp; chiffon is layered over hemp and web-like crochet is paired with chiffon and silk mini-ballgowns. For this colleciton Aksu has also utilised a virtually unknown fabric; Brazilian fish skin. The skins have the appearance of brushed silk, but with the scaling that you might expect on snake or mock-croc; a combination of soft and animal which perfectly encapsulates the ethos of the collection.  

The silhouette is another site for Aksu to create a juxtaposition; hips and shoulders are accentuated and waists are tight, while the layers of chiffon and silk and ruched chiffon embellishment add a softness to the sculpture-like tailoring.

Aksu's trademark use of knitwear is also crucial for this season's collection. Inspired by photographic artist Nina Katchadourian, who combines coloured thread with spiders web, Aksu weaves metallic wool into web-like structures, which are then layered over chiffon and silk, giving the impression the his models have walked straight through a haunted forest onto the catwalk. As in previous seasons, Bora Aksu's collection might be light in hue, but its spirit is dark.

- Alex Butt


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