Capital of contemporary fashion, Istanbul is also home to Haute Couture designers accustomed to catwalks in Paris, London or Milan – cities where some have inaugurated studios. Volume II of our review of Turkish designers at the top.
Haute Couture is also on display in Istanbul! Several major fashion designers of luxury clothes loved in Turkey, well known on the banks of the Bosphorus – and having succeeded over time abroad where they even sometimes established studios –, have nothing to envy to their European counterparts when it comes to aesthetics and quality. These Turkish fashion stylists seduce even in Hollywood where well-known actresses, who fell in love with their evening dresses, tread on wearing it, chin up, red carpets.
Known for his graceful and very romantic style, designer Bora Aksu is one of them. He is an expert in drapery and high-end handcrafted details, and his influence is rising. Already a symbol, almost iconic, of Turkish fashion, Bora Aksu, creator of the most delicate style in the kingdom of femininity, has participated in recent years in several Fashion Week abroad, and first of all from London. His first collection, in 2003, had received considerable attention in the international fashion press. His first mini collection had been acquired by Dolce & Gabbana. His name has since appeared regularly in the columns of Vogue, Elle, Glamor or Harper’s Bazaar. He has been invited by British department stores Selfridges to decorate his windows – he has even since established a studio in London where he has also settled down. We have also seen him collaborate with Nike, Converse or Antropologie. In 2005, when the American singer Tori Amos wore the creations of his Living Waters Collection for his “Sinsuality Tour”, his career made a turning point. Bora Aksu became well-known. His first collection of cocktail dresses – in jersey, georgette (light and semi-transparent crepe fabric) and silk –, presented in Paris in February 2009, seduced all his guests. In 2010, the year he joined the Istanbul Fashion Week, Bora Aksu even had the opportunity to be presented to Queen Elizabeth II at a reception at Buckingham Palace. Bora Aksu has for sure then entered the big league!
THE BURÇE BEKREK BLACK AND WHITE LINES
There is another emblematic name to know: the designer Burçe Bekrek (2), also used to Turkish and European catwalks and glossy magazine covers. Burçe Bekrek first made a breakthrough with customers such as Porsche and Bentley, before establishing her own fashion brand, which won early nominations at the Elle Style Awards Turkey in the Young Designer category.
Resolutely modern, her creations are recognizable by their frequent and regular black and white lines and by a geometry of forms, sometimes deliberately masculine, belonging only to her. For years, she has developed coupés of simplicity and minimalism that might seem at first sight almost disconcerting – like Yves Saint Laurent. But to better highlight a style, very solid, of rare sophistication, of unadorned elegance, revealing breathtaking details.
Among these rising stars and other sure values of Turkish luxury clothing, it is impossible, equally, not to mention Arzu Kaprol (3), a fashion designer of great modernity, always at the forefront of innovation – for example in her use of leather and when she mixes it with silk or muslin –, having fashion in the skin as she comes from a family of fashion designers. Between couture and ready-to-wear, Arzu Kaprol assumes also a style of great clarity, with almost architectural geometry. Since she paraded for the first time in Paris during the Fashion Week 2011-2012 – drawing inspiration from the work of artist Arman –, she has been cracking and turning the heads of women around the world, from Istanbul to Paris, from London to New York, from Dubai to Tokyo. A true muse, her designs has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and has been worn by both top model Gisele Bündchen and actress Milla Jovovich. Arzu Kaprol or the new fashion and luxury diva of the East-West!