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London Fashion Week AW24 Highlights: Backstage with Bora Aksu

Chloe Burney
17 February 2024

Art is intended to spark emotion and that’s exactly what Bora Aksu's AW24 collection did. The demi-couture range was a moving commentary on the waves of grief, told through vintage-feel laces and deconstructed layers  inspired by sculptor Eva Hesse.

Aksu, whose mother recently passed away, drew inspiration from Eva Hesse's artworks, who told the story of her family's harrowing escape from Nazi Germany via sculptures. On the runway, fashion was transformed into a powerful medium for storytelling as sombre music flooded through the Marylebone hall.

The designer found inspiration in the way Hesse, the pioneering post-minimalist artist, used abstract forms and unconventional materials to convey complex emotions. In the 1960s, Hesse returned to Germany to face her traumatic past and Aksu mirrored this on the runway via models donning cocoon coats and 60s-inspired hairstyles.

Although the ensembles are instantly recognisable as works of Bora Aksu, the collection echoed the muted tones and organic textures present in Hesse's sculptures.

In one of her interviews she said, "human life doesn't last so I don't think art should last" and this is something that stuck with the designer. In the same way that a lot of her art was made to deteriorate over time, thanks to the use of latex, Aksu wanted to create something that was "destroyable and destructible but still beautiful".

After the show, Aksu told TheIndustry.fashion: "This led me to work with Angora and mohair to create a kind of softness and texture. If you put your hand through mohair, it changes shape and is almost destroyed and that's what I wanted. I wanted to create something that's tactile and fragile.Yet, at the same time, the yarns we use are still strong".

Deconstruction was echoed in the ripped lace tights that were layered up on the models. On top, they wore mix of metallic and pastel hues, which nodded to the moments of joy that are found within grieving.

Aksu added: "On top of the metallics, there are traditional Turkish patterns. I was trying to do things a bit more abstract. With the layers and shimmers I was trying to create an illusion. Each layer of the garments had varying textures... I was trying to create like a serious part and then tried to create a really light part".

In a nod to Eva Hesse's personal style during her creative process, Aksu incorporated headscarves into his collection. Models graced the runway wearing delicate lace headscarves, inspired by the sculptor who known for wearing headscarves to hold back her long locks while creating her artworks.

Backstage, the Turkish designer, who was fighting back tears, revealed to TheIndustry.fashion: "My next collection is going to be about my mum. So that's going to be a lot, but at least I have longer to do it!"


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