Designer Bora Aksu wanted to return to his roots for SS24; a recent trip to Istanbul inspired a sense of reconnection with memories of his childhood, and the label’s whimsical spirit gave an aesthetic nod to his birthplace of Turkey.
Aksu remembers a childhood watching his mother hand knit dresses as his grandmother crocheted blankets. The fez hats that featured through his SS24 collection were created from upcycled offcuts of these garments, sent to Aksu by his family.
For his eponymous brand, Bora Aksu combines a romantic sensibility with elegant tailoring, whilst using delicate textured textiles and whimsical details in dimensional pieces. His aesthetic focuses on the use of a handcrafted approach to design to portray a unique interpretation of femininity; SS24 gave us his signature embellishments through the use of intricate lace, crochet, and hyper-feminine silhouettes juxtaposed with romantic Turkish motifs and heritage imagery, with a colour palette that was a mélange of soft dreamy blues and lush painted florals in opulent fabrications on tulle, lace, and knitted layers.
One of the underlying ideas behind the collection was the idea that we don’t need to produce more materials in order to create something wonderful. Aksu incorporates deadstock and vintage fabrics as well as hand crafted discarded materials. He sees the beauty in what already exists, adding elements to create something new and beautiful.
In addition to the handcrafted textiles, he drew inspiration from the opulent fabrics of the Ottoman Empire, referenced in elaborate silk gowns in duck egg blue and dusky pinks, embroidered with delicate floral motifs and hand-painted Iznek tile patterns on ethereal layers of tulle and organza.
SS24 drew from the concepts of comforting nostalgia and whimsy; a juxtaposition of the bold and the dream-like. Voluminous silhouettes were paired with tailored, cropped jackets and structured pieces; a love of gothic romanticism was seen in the use of black lace, organza, and tulle, which allowed for a degree of mysticism alongside candy coloured pastels in this cohesive collection. Bora Aksu’s design identify is very much tooted in the idea of family; bringing them very much into the present for a modern take on heritage and history.