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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Catwalk Review: Bora Aksu (by Amelia)

Bora Aksu was back in the BFC tent at Somerset House on Friday 18th February. Inspired by Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, he showed a supremely confident collection that had the collective Amelia's Mag team a-drooling.

Written by Amelia Gregory

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LFW A/W 2011, mind Florian Jayet. Illustration by Alison Day

I spent London Fashion Week staying at my parent’s house. My childhood home with a new kitchen, approved dog ‘brother’, purchase central heating that works and a bath. I’m not going to lie, I enjoyed having my porridge made in the morning. Maple syrup on the side, and a herbal tea, packed lunch filled with snacks. That’s right, I lapped it up. Although Charlie is an excellent boy/man, there is nothing quite like the mother. However they live a few miles outside of Brighton, in a village. Thus the trek to London, the long days and write ups – intense. All because I LOVE it. Love words, fashion, and obviously, this mighty magazine. Yet I deliberated with coming to London for one show on Sunday. Day of rest day normally means Roast dinner. But I have in my mind, ‘NO HELS! SAY NOT TO NOTHING!’ at all times. I’m following my writing dream after all. This causes me great pleasures and enormous pains. So, of course, one show or not, I was on that train to London Victoria. And am I glad I made the effort for Fashion Mode?

Yes. Three shows in one; three excellent shows. I’m going to split Fashion Mode into three posts, because each designer deserves the love. So we will start with Floriet Jayet.

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Illustration by LFW A/W 2011, Florian Jayet.Alison Day

Initially I was slightly terrified and in awe of the models coming out. Nothing different to every show you might say. But, this was different, because the models had metal contraptions of their heads that made them look like a cross between special aliens and orthodontic patients. Four strips of silver metal came over their heads from the back, to touch their faces, with an enormous roller at the back. After my initial fear, I decided that they looked cool, as inevitably happens at LFW. See: ‘Urg… ahhh.. yah, I totally get that now. I want one.’ Although I’m not sure I would wear one of these creations, I would certainly consider wearing the dresses, which the metal complimented perfectly. Wiggle space lady, that’s what you are. With lasers from your eyes and hips.

Florian Jayet is a graduate in Biology which explains his science appreciative designs. The dresses featured strong shoulders, midi length skirts and padded fabrics. The shape of the woman has been celebrated and appreciated as if it is meant to be seen and not covered – raw biology. The models reminded me of those in Huxley’s; Brave New World. Perfect, angular and although feminine, minus the romanticism and emotional sentimentality, that are sometimes conjured by designs. In a sense Jayet‘s pieces are actually a mix of previous, and our vision of future, ideologies. The restricted, but beautiful shapes of the 20s, 30s and 40s appear to have been fused with modern and excessive details; i.e. the shoulders. The contemporary complimenting the past, and particularly with reference to French houses; Chanel and Dior. This makes for a very sophisticated and composed look. It made me want to look closer, at every detail, and know more. As opposed to held within the ruffles, the corset and the red heels, everything seemed so wrapped up, with the story inside. It was whimsical in its own way, and also impenetrable. These outfits are those that I would hope to find in the corner of a cafe in Paris, smoking, mysterious, alone – with a steely, but far away look.

I adored the padding details and the shrug wraps. Space lady, dressed for dinner. The long dresses had a Japanese feel to them, geisha like and graceful. Florian Jayet said that the focus for him, is to create; ‘a fetish wardrobe, pieces that a woman can keep forever, bringing them out on special occasions when she needs to be propelled into confidence and strength.’ It’s fair to say that you would feel empowered wearing Jayet’s pieces. The creams and blacks, shoulders, padding and midi length skirts would have me stomping and demanding like a glossy magazine Editor with somewhere to be. However at the moment it’s more probable I would be the space lady in the cafe, with a triple americano (having no affect), internally reliving or hoping for something. With an unreadable face, it’s unclear as to what scene could be playing in the mind of this space femme, but in a way it’s romantic.

Bora Aksu A/W 2011 by Danielle Shepherd
Bora Aksu A/W 2011 by Danielle Shepherd.

Bora Aksu is one of the most unassuming and down to earth men I’ve ever met, and let alone in the land of fashion – which is why it is so bizarre that his shows attract such a high level of celebrity interest – I can’t for one moment imagine that he courts it himself…

Twiggy at Bora Aksu. Amelia Gregory
Twiggy at Bora Aksu. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

It was only after I’d planted myself down in the front row that I realised I was in the thick of a celebrity pap fest. Twiggy was busy giving vox pops to my left and Marina of Marina and the Diamonds fame came stomping past inches from my nose in a bid to find a spare patch of front row action. I kept my head down, stomach so it was only after the show that I realised I’d been sitting only a few bodies down from ex Sugababes’ star Keisha Buchanan, information pills as she stood for an awkward and heavily photographed air kiss reunion with Girls Aloud’s current fashion darling Nicola Roberts, whose incredible thinness was enhanced by the halo of flashes going off behind her. I could hardly leave the venue for the ensuing scrum. Memo to self: try to avoid sitting in the thick of celeb land next time.

Marina by Artist Andrea
Marina in an amazing mice encrusted jumper by Andrea Peterson.

Last season Bora took a step away from the Somerset House action to show at the considerably smaller venue at Victoria House, and in reflection of this step down his collection seemed slightly lacking in confidence. But for A/W 2011 he was back in the big tent, and proving once more that he is at the height of his powers.

Bora Aksu A/W 2011 by Donya Todd
Bora Aksu A/W 2011 by Donya Todd.

Gun metal grey is a favourite Bora colour, and the collection flew off the starting blocks as it meant to continue, with a gorgeous bustle-backed party frock in metallic fabric and wool, highlighted by a slash of emerald green at the waist and in the underskirt – a colour that was to take second place only to his beloved grey this season.

Bora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia Gregory
Bora Aksu A/W 2011 by Alia Gargum
Bora Aksu A/W 2011 by Alia Gargum.

Bora staples: lace, sheer chiffon, cable knit and corsetry lacing were all present and correct, bound and wound around the models in cunning arrangements. Playful inspiration was found in the form of tuxedos and bow ties, Bora playing with proportion, placement and trompe l’oeil effects.

Bora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia Gregory
Bora Aksu A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

As usual some of the dresses called to mind a suit of armour, contouring the female form. As the collection progressed the models’ delicate features became evermore bound in black gauze before they grouped in formation to take their final turn on the catwalk – a trend that was to be repeated throughout the week at various shows.

Bora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia Gregory
Bora Aksu A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

Bora Aksu has an extraordinarily clear vision that keeps getting stronger and stronger: feminine without being too girly, clever without being unwearable, recognisable without being samey and continuously innovative. He is without doubt one of the most individual and idiosyncratic designers working in the UK today. Roll on S/S 2012.

Bora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia Gregory
Bora Aksu A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

You can read Georgia Takacs’ review here and Jemma Crow’s review here. Or you can check in with my intimate interview, posted last September. We’re big fans, what can I say?

Bora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia Gregory
Bora Aksu A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

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