I have always maintained that the biannual fashion weeks tell you one thing the minute we hit the catwalks: which brands are the leaders, and who, the followers.
So from the very first ball-point-tipped heel to hit the runway, I knew that Bora Aksu had decided to lead for this season (LFW SS15). Whilst many designers opted to leave behind intricacies of design-seasons-past, in favour of the current quick-win high street trends such as crop tops and mesh, Bora Aksu kept it complex, the seemingly effortless way. The reason behind the refreshing lack of mini-fabrics and utility pockets in his designs stems from every young girls dream: The Ballet.
Before SS15, he had been working on the costume design for the opera Werther, so come the catwalks, Bora was still dreaming of The Arts. “I wanted to create something so light and weightless but at the same time not too nostalgic. Current in a new Bora way.” The symbolism he works into his pieces is inspiring. Waiting for the show to start I read that Bora drew on inspiration Marie Taglioni for the collection. Marie was the first Ballerina to dance en pointe. As the models step onto their catwalk, no, their stage, the nudes, evolving into peach and pink splashes, before entering into darker hues, perfect the delicate and light symbolism of just how much emphasis at the core it takes to stand en pointe.
Whites and blues kept the palette fresh. Transparency and sheer layers kept it elusive and mysterious. And the crochet and laser-cuts, well, I’d love to insert an impressive description here, but let me tell you the truth: they really just made me drool.
Bora’s inspiration for this collection was “background characters of fairy tales… I am trying to explore what it would have felt like to be a background character such as Cinderella’s step sister.” Now while every female will be asking the question: “you mean the ugly stepsisters?” Bora answers with something magical – yes, even background characters can step out into the spotlight, with the right dress. Even the grimmest of characters have a story to tell, and what better way than designs which utter romance with a dark twist?! These are the pieces Bora closed his show with – the striking blues on whites, splashes of cobalts and lilacs to emphasise the embroidery, hand-made crochets that would shame even the most skilled of grandma knitters in rocking chairs – and there you have it – now you see why I drooled a little.
When I left the show, I knew I really was leaving a dream. Walking out of the now low-lit room, stepping into the crisp bright courtyard space at Somerset House, I felt ready to embrace my fairytale for the day: “Would you like to try a free Beauty Drink madam?” one of the advertisers outside asked. I have no idea what a beauty drink is, or what exactly, any individuals with a reasonable I-or-EQ expect it to do. But since it felt like a day for fairytales, and it was a long way away from midnight – Cinderella here, thought, “why not?” It didn’t work; my tube-ride definitely did not turn into a horse-drawn carriage. But who cares? Every woman to watch Bora’s show will have forgotten feeling like a background character. Today, they were leaders of the pack.