Oscar Wilde’s “The Nightingale and the Rose” set the scene for Bora Aksu’s collection on the first day of London Fashion Week. A lingering sense of hyper-sentimentality enveloped the show, possibly an aftereffect of the memorial service for Central Saint Martin’s beloved Professor Louise Wilson held just hours earlier. The designer who was a student of Professor Wilson dedicated the show in her honour.
Aksu’s girls, like the lone nightingale in Wilde’s novel, bore a sense of fragility. The Turkish-born designer opted for a watercolour palette and trellis-like lace that echoed Victorian conventions, befitting of his Wildean reference. Floor-length day dresses in natural tones were complemented with appliqué party frocks. The show’s bold statement of royal blue pieces punctuated the otherwise pastel collection. Aksu also designed his own thread work, lending the pieces a lot more of the designer’s touch. Leather was matched with hyper-feminine crochet, giving an unexpected harmony. But what truly stood out were probably the darker numbers, which offered a more slender silhouette.
While some looks may have been slightly heavy-handed on the styling, others had a nice fluidity that counteracted all the handiwork. As a whole, Aksu’s Fall/Winter collection was a gentle segue into London Fashion Week that was well appreciated.