What first struck me at Bora Aksu’s show was the beautiful palette of greys and deep greens that took over the catwalk. Named “Angel & Fiend”, this A/W 2011 collection tells us the story of the eternal duel between good and evil, proper and improper or, to refer even more to the Victorian feel that oozed from most garments, the inner struggle in Dr Jeckyll with his evil self Mr Hyde.
Taking inspiration from the dark and foggy streets of East London during the pre-Victorian and Victorian periods, the collection is indeed all about contrasts, and in the end, balance, whether it be between masculine and feminine, rigidity and fluidity, old times and fantasy future, or in terms of colours with hints of emerald green lightening up, like a splash of absinthe, the smokey greys and blacks, and fabrics, with a combination of traditional ones, wool or tweed, with leather or even plastic.
“I am very drawn to tailoring this season. The beauty of classic timeless tailoring and its details and techniques really inspired me. And then the challenge comes with the manipulation of these tailoring techniques and how to turn it into something new – this became the concept for the collection.” explained the designer.
Although Bora Aksu borrows from the masculine wardrobe, with short tailored jackets, trousers, and bow ties, overall the collection remains very feminine, with the signature staple cocktail dresses and layered looks.
I really enjoyed the contrasts between thick and rigid materials, such as leather – notably the corsets made of individual panels tied together with a cord – or the large cable stitch wool details,with mesh and lace. Other interesting details included the mangled and laced up tights, as well as the bandage-like mesh headbands.
Marilyn Manson’s Sweet Dreams, which opened the show, added to the exquisite darkness feel of the collection.