Turkish dress recipe

Take out your papers and pens. Bora Aksu reveals his secret recipe for making a dress.

Clothes have a taste of their own and this taste gives them the ability to speak different languages. When a dress is really delicious, it becomes easier to understand its language. Once you taste it and grasp its language, you’re one step closer to the designer’s narrative. Bora Aksu has a secret recipe for making dresses. “I always start out with something very personal like childhood reminiscences. Then there come other elements. For example, I mixed a pinch of punk, a pinch of Edwardian and a pinch of dream to make this dress,” says the Turkish born designer pointing out to a magnificent dress in his studio. I hear you saying, “Is that it?” Be patient! He mentions the most important ingredient at the end and I think this is what makes the distinction. “Love,” he whispers. “I put my love while designing each collection. People feel and taste it when you create something with love. This is an invisible force.” His invisible force is so strong that it continues to influence people since his Central Saint Martins Masters Fashion show. This show marked a major turning point for Aksu. His stand out collection received a huge response from the press and he was quoted as “the star of the show.”
He admitted that he never imagined such a success while studying business administration in Turkey. “I’ve always had a special interest in drawing and illustration. After I graduated, drawing became more than just a hobby for me. I started to create collections. At that point, I decided to move to London and study fashion design.” Leaving everything behind and moving towards an unknown world is a very brave step. Aksu managed to face the unknown and achieved a great success. “When I was creating my masters collection, I tried to find out my own taste by mixing everything I love. I knew that when I put together all the things I love, I could create a perfect harmony,” says Aksu. It seems like he discovered his secret recipe at the beginning of his career.
“With the help of God and luck” as he puts it, his masters collection provided him with a sponsorship award to start his own label collection. His off schedule Autumn/Winter 03 show took place during London Fashion Week in February 2003. “I was surprised by people’s keen interest to my show. I remembered thinking ‘I just graduated from university how come they heard about me and came to see my show.’ After the show, I took orders from London, Japan and Hong Kong. Everything seems like a dream, isn’t it? I thought these things happen only in movies.”
Aksu has been awarded with Top Shop New Generation sponsorship four times. When I saw pieces from his previous collections in his studio, I thought he thoroughly deserved those rewards. His designs are creative, imaginative and daring. He is quite successful in mixing various different textures. His last Spring/Summer 2006 collection proves to be distinguished once more. This collection is based on Aksu’s voyage to Turkey. He stayed in small villages of Turkey to perceive the essence and purity of Turkish culture. He effectively expressed his voyage by connecting various textures like chiffon and silk, with heavy cottons, leather and crocheted knit and lace. “Everything started out with a piece of stone that I took from a lake in a small village. Those stones became my colour palette in this collection. So, a Turkish village leaked into my collection,” says the designer.
Before I met Aksu, I was very curious about his relationship with his ego. As soon as he graduated from Central Saint Martins, he owned a great fame and success. His clients include Tori Amos, Elizabeth Jagger and Princess Diana’s cousin. Suddenly becoming at the centre of attention could make a person arrogant, but not Aksu. His great big smile and modest answers prove that he doesn’t have an intimate relationship with his ego. “While I’m creating my collections, I cut all my ties with the outside world. What I create is something very personal. This personal collection is suddenly exposed to the outside world with the show. However, I never design to make people like my clothes. I just design to please myself,” says Aksu. His words justify my belief that Aksu’s dresses don’t follow trends. They reflect the designer’s personal taste. His understanding of fashion doesn’t involve dictating women what to wear. He believes that fashion dictatorship belonged to the Nineties. “Fashion turned out to be something very personal.”Aksu achieved a lot by putting his heart to everything he created. You can perceive the most important ingredient of his recipe, his love, in every dress he creates.

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