Istanbul Fashion Week for the Spring Summer 2013 collections came and went, with strong showings from a few designers and heavy doses of hopeful enthusiasm from the audience members. A poor organization of seating arrangements and unknowledgeable staff marred the attempt to bring the week up to the international standards to which, no doubt, the attendants and designers are normally accustomed. However, that being said, the bright faces and even brighter designs on the runway balanced out any unprofessional off-the-runway events. We’ve done a step by step round up of the best of the best.
Having represented the Turkish fashion scene in Korea this year, Simay Bülbül’s collection’s inspiration from the Far East was apparent in its colors and details. Organza and chiffon blouses paired with leather and suede bottoms exuded a spectrum of color, from black and white into blue, green, and coral. As usual, the detailed laser cuts in leather, trademarks of Bülbül’s design, were there, as were sewn-in cutout in the fronts and backs of shirts, as well as high-waist pants paired with bustiers and wide cloaks which harkened to the Far East.
The woman in Türkay’s collection could be described as one who attempts to create calm in the midst of a chaotic city. Visually this translated into long blazer jackets and high-waisted pants worn either with sports shoes or chic heels. The effects of turquoise, beige, and salmon pink brush strokes on the fabric, was as if an exotic bird was clothed in loose silk shirts and avant garde dresses.
Already established with his haute couture collection, Masur unveiled his first prêt à porter collection entitled "Denge- Soul by Özgür Masur." With an air of simplicity, the clean cut forms enriched with digital prints composed the basis of the collection. The Tulip, the essential icon of the Ottoman Empire which Masur used in his previous works, made a reappearance and red, cream, green, yellow, and the always fashionable black, the colors of the1970s, breathed again in silk, cotton, viscose, and leather. Apart from outfits that can be worn daily, comfortably fitting cocktail dresses with deep slits and low necks were balanced with doré accessories and waist belts.
If you want to make a mark in the fashion world, the thing to do is to think in more comprehensive and eclectic terms. Zeynep Tosun did exactly this. Her collection is both feminine and brave, at once sporty and elegant. Extremely wide-collared outfits and side stitched pants with full silver sequins, jersey dresses with belts, pleated skirts of varying lengths, as well as chiffon tops and leather shorts all gave the eclectic feel that should be coveted. The accessories were also very notable with large travel bags and jockey caps. Black chiffon cloaks, bustiers with heavy decorations, mini shorts with inside-out pockets, leather jackets, and the pigment print of the phoenix all came together for an assertive presentation. According to the Persian legend, the phoenix witnessed the collapse of the world three times, and with her collection of the mature, experienced, feminine, and brave female, Tosun was able to integrate the bird into her designs and color palette successfully.
The 2013 Spring and Summer collection showed the dress of a woman who has become a stranger in her own city, a native attempting to see the city through the eyes of a tourist. Wanting to abandon the routine, the silhouette took on a bohemian aesthetic with a minimal yet adventurous stride, opening the doors of spring with floral-patterned skirts that braced the breeze. The mix of prints with white in muted satin played off very well with the braided gold accessories and details in the whole collection. This season’s important colors of saxe blue, red, green, salmon, yellow, and fuchsia were well carried from day to night.
One of the leading men’s fashion designers displayed her avant garde creations in her collection entitled ‘trans.’ One of the most attention-grabbing aspects came in the form of studded metallic-based accessories and an overall balance with nature and the remnants of a technological society. Jackets without buttons, loose Bermuda shorts, and short boots were all very present in the very masculine collection. Wool, silk and cotton blends gave new life to different prints in beige and petrol green. The total effect was of a richness and depth with an understated elegance.
After creating the image of the righteous woman in his collection last year, Abazoglu returned this year with “ADL by Cengiz Abazoglu”, a new collection. The show included important models such as Çağla Şikel, Alona Kral, Özge Ulusoy, Selda Car and Wilma Elles and was composed of 79 pieces that took a deep journey into the ocean. The beachwear-themed collection put on printed bathing suits, bikinis, and tankinis accentuated with doré accessories and dramatic, wide straw hats to create a quiet sophistication. The more casual yet chic pieces maintained the consistency and striped shorts, patterned tankinis kept up an interesting banter of unusual patterns. Off-white colored sophisticated jewelry and gold-colored accessories pulled together the look of the dresses with slits on both sides and ties at the waists. Purple, red, turquoise, white, and baby pink were heavily featured colors. The final grand entrance was reserved for the end of the show when all of the models entered wearing completely red, full length dresses with frill details, wide side slits, and details in the back.
Combination 3: Ayşe Deniz Yeğin, Emre Erdemoğlu, and Tuba Benian
These three designers took part in a combined “young designers” show, which almost outshone the rest of Fashion Week from the presentations of their collections to the clothing they masterfully designed. Ayşe Deniz Yeğin started the show off strong with flirty white coordinating separates flecked with gold and structured dresses with mauve accents. Emre Erdemoğlu then took off, quite literally, with his aviation-inspired menswear collection. Khakis, military greens, and hints of blue were all in on the looks which included Jedi-like capes and a jacket with endoskeleton lapels. Tuba Benian closed out the show with rough silks fashioned into oversized bows around her models’ torsos, encircling their hips and sometimes even their hands in evening dresses and a shirt. Her main colors included a strong Byzantine purple, lady-like cerulean, and a stinging yellow. If these three are the future of Turkish fashion design, then we have great hopes that they and their peers will put Istanbul Fashion Week on the international fashion show map.
Ester Levi has worked for Simay Bülbül backstage and has studied at the Milan Fashion Institute. She currently designs for Levinson leather&fur, but is in the process of opening her own line working mainly with leather and fur.
Harun Demirel started participating in fashion shows when he was still in university. He attended the Saint Martins school in London to further his fashion education. He currently has his own line and is continuously inspired by Istanbul.
*Introduction and Collection 3 by Maria Eliades