Turkish designer Bora Aksu debuted his much-anticipated Autumn/Winter 2019/20 Collection at London Fashion Week’s opening day – February 15, to a packed audience of top fashion influencers, fashion bloggers and freelance writers like myself. Apart from feeling rather out of my depth at such a glitzy event, surrounded by fashionistas dressed to the nines, I was somewhat apprehensive about what I was about to be presented with at the catwalk, considering most things I’ve seen on catwalk shows are in my opinion, utterly unwearable by a woman with an endomorph, or “curvy” figure like myself. However, I was pleasantly taken aback when the first thought that struck me after the second model had begun walking down the aisle was that this collection featured surprisingly wearable garments – things that I could see myself wearing as well, hefty price tag aside.
Taking inspiration from a strong, revolutionary woman, Valentina Tereshkova – the first woman to fly in space in 1963 – Bora Aksu’s Autumn/Winter 2019/20 collection is a tribute to her journey to space, drawing on the contrasts of her humble beginnings, growing up in a small village in the former Soviet Union, to becoming the first woman to spend three days in space orbiting Earth 48 times on June 16, 1963. Soft silhouettes, feminine frills, ethereal textured tulle fabrics blend together in a palette of soft pastel and iridescent colours to invoke a truly mystical feel. The combination of soft feminine fabrics and structured shapes is purposefully combined to create a resounding sense of romance in contrast to the strong and bold silhouettes. For a modern touch, the astronaut-aesthetic manifests in coats, boxed and puffer jackets. Bora uses layering as a primary tool for creating interesting textures without adding any heaviness to the gentle flowiness of the outfits. Weightlessness is the key.
The essence of this inspired collection seeks to reflect on a monumental achievement by a woman, a ‘breaking of gender barriers’ if you will, without compromising one’s femininity. This particular quote by the pioneering space explorer is intended to resonate with its wearers, “I believe a woman should always remain a woman and nothing feminine should be alien to her. At the same time, I strongly feel that no work done by a woman, can enter into conflict with her ancient ‘wonderful mission’, to love, to be loved.” – Valentina Tereshkova, 1970.
*Hand-embroidered and knitted head pieces are created by Liria Pristine.
*Pearl jewellery and avant-garde sunglasses are created by Halo and Co, inspired by the Space Age.