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Bora Aksu Amazes Once More With His Take On Victorian

Bora Aksu Amazes Once More With His Take On Victorian

Bora Aksu

Bora Aksu, Central St Martin’s graduate, knows fashion inside out, from the depths to its future. Frills, bodices, lace, gowns and even more lace. This Turkish designer should be deemed the pioneer of vintage, especially since the petticoat is one of his signatures.

Romantic, Gothic and Hypnotic

The collection utilised a strict set of traditional colours. Red, pink, black and white.

Aksu sought inspiration from the character of Wednesday Addams. Hence a cello emulated an orchestral reproduction of the ‘Season of the Witch’ to set the scene. Gothicism is very misunderstood, just like Wednesday. Gothicism in the modern day has been equated to the likes of grunge, punk and emo – which does a huge disservice to its principles and historical impact on art and architecture.

Unsurprisingly, the genre of Gothic is characterised by mystery, supernatural, decay and romance. It is a genre which emerged from Romanticism in the 1700s, engaging in the sublime and the depths of human emotion. Oftentimes it was broody and dramatic and always teetering along the lines of material reality. It explores the constraints of man and wonders in awe of the human psyche whilst challenging the limitations of existence. This collection particularly reminded me of Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. Presumably inspired by the Victorian Goth, Aksu’s utilisation of black with complementary frills or lace and tulle softens the harshness associated with Gothicism by the contemporary audience. The almost-white pastel pink works effectively in soothing the raven black.

Gothicism isn’t scary or gory but represents roughness around the edges.

It’s the burning of satin ribbons to secure pointé shoes so they don’t fray while dancing; it’s the lighting of candles to set a romantic ambience. It’s the mud that stifles your shoes as you dive into a forest to find a freshwater lake.

Bora Aksu Provides Fairytales for Everyone

What is so special about this collection is that whoever, whatever wore it, would feel like they were in a fairytale. The label has 61 stores worldwide; it isn’t hard to see why. Aksu offers an outlet for self-expression that is not hindered by the expectations of modernity or conformity. The brand’s very purpose is to revive antiquity. And he modernises this through the playing of opacity, lengths and colours. The array of models showcasing the looks ascertains the versatility of each and every one of them. It is also refreshing to see feminity presented in a more conservative way without making it inherently sexual.

All of the looks resemble something you might find in Alice in Wonderland. Obviously, the limitations of this collection suddenly become really clear. Did there need to be 39 looks? Probably not.

But they were all consistently beautiful. I would describe the entire collection as demure. It is not something for everyone, and probably even a little too traditional or conservative for some. There is a lot of beauty in feminity that becomes heightened when muting the sexual component of it. I think the selection of models proved exactly this. None of their faces competed with the garment but rather harmonised with it. It can be really easy to get swirled into the world of fabric as a designer or even a consumer and forget about the ones who would be wearing it.

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