“ A breathless hush descended on the packed New York theatre, as two young women floated around the stage like heavenly beings.” – Helen Grant
A curious quotation to precede a collection but one that left a heavy imprint upon the pieces themselves , Bora Aksu delves into the biography of the infamous Dolly Sisters to inject a sense of beauty and opulence into his Autumn/Winter LFW designs. Amongst the raucous tales of the hypnotic dancers that contribute to the intricacies, history in itself plays a fundamental part in the Aksu story.
From the moment the Bora Aksu show opened, you were hit by a wave of nostalgia– old ideas in a modern time, like an old favourite being pulled from the darkest depths of an overflowing wardrobe to be aired in the first light of the season. Rich whites and tainted neutrals assist in the wistful nature of the collection as intimate lace under-netting and leather corsetry remind us of the glory days of those Vaudeville sisters, dancing into the hearts of suitors; burning brightly before fade. Before the lifestyle and addiction consumed their very being, they were the epitome of glamour and independence – reflected in structured silhouttes, robust caped shoulders and masculine skinny snake ties. Contrasting androgynous details with delicate, feminine fabrics, we are reminded of the duality of their lives and the social revolution of the times.
Decadent grey furs, shearling pelts and tight leather bodies are set against bulbous chiffon shift dresses and romantic draped fabric; the Dolly Sisters’ extravagance and appetite for wealth sitting pretty alongside their fragile feminine nature. Modern twists come in the form of the increasingly popular separates trend with navel grazing crop tops whilst rich purples, plums and fuscia hues cut through the placidity in romantic chiffon, caplets and intricate headwear. Filigree cages conceal each individual model’s features in bruised tones, adding a new dimension to the vibrant façade of the Sister’s lives.
It’s hard to fault such a well thought out collection, entwining the old and new with such ease and romance. At once daring and bold, the designs are also classic and wearable in their way, especially for a fashion week show. The loose, globular silhouette of the chiffon sleeveless dresses is a definite one to watch whilst old favourite shifts in seasonal long sleeved styles continue to rule.