LFW: Bora Aksu Pays Homage To His Mother In A Super Sweet Runway Moment
The British-Turkish designer showed in London at the weekend, a collection dotted with literal pieces of his mother’s knitted off-cuts
For the last two seasons, British-Turkish designer Bora Aksu has began his show in mourning; requisite 60-second silences for lives lost. During his last Fall/Winter 2023 show, this time was dedicated to the victims of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria. The time before that, it was the Queen. Indeed, those in the know will even remember Aksu’s nod to the pandemic era when he famously sent glamorous nurses in stiffened white dresses and gauze caps down the runway.
In London at the weekend, however, Aksu’s Spring/Summer 2024 outing saw his signature whimsy, optimism and romanticism arrive without sorrow, and instead got back to the core of his brand: a celebration of family ties. The Central Saint Martins graduate’s deep love for theatrics—think overdoses of organza, tulle, taffeta and lace—has seen him reach great success, namely in the eveningwear category in Asia, and was on full display at London’s historic Goodenough College in Bloomsbury on September 15.
Aksu’s inspiration for his divine SS24 offering was one of his core childhood memories: sitting at his mother’s feet as she knitted dresses inside their humble home in Izmir, a city by the Aegean coast of Turkey. The moment was celebrated on the runway as sweet Fez hats were popped on models’ heads; knitted creations made from upcycled cut-off of his mother’s unfinished blankets.
“I am sure that my mum’s sense of fashion implanted something bigger in me,” Aksu told a reporter last year. “She was always very creative but her creativity was mostly hidden behind her identity as a doctor. Even though she was a very hard-working mother, she also had a strong vision of how her style should be and was never satisfied with the styles the stores at the time offered. So instead of getting frustrated, she decided to create outfits for herself. She learned how to knit and she created amazing skirts and dresses.
“Through observing the way she dressed, I almost wanted to capture that style.”
In fact, Aksu was surrounded by women his entire childhood and adolescence, and it was these ties which informed his deeply romantic and distinct signature: a celebration of the power of femininity. On his SS24 runway, these hallmarks were mish-mashed and ever-present with a taupy-gold lip: Intricate knits! Peter pan collars! Cascading lace! Bows!
Yes, Aksu let us get super close to his family this time round—almost like an invitation into his living room in Izmir all those years ago—and topped with a simple headdress, it’s by far his most sentimental and personal collection to date.