London is taking its turn in the style spotlight with the opening of London Fashion Week, an extravaganza that will feature up-and-coming young designers along with big names like Victoria Beckham, Vivienne Westwood and Burberry.
More than 100 catwalk shows are scheduled along with countless crowded, fizzy parties and dozens of presentations.
The London-based Turkish designer used his catwalk show Friday to display a series of layered, asymmetrical dresses in quiet shades of white, cream and soft blue. Many of the outfits had an ethereal, otherworldly look, set off at times by pale, almost Arctic makeup.
Aksu said the look of his show was inspired by Valentina Tereshkova, a Russian cosmonaut who was the first woman to fly into space. He said he was seeking a “mystical feel” that paid tribute to both her village roots as well as her space travel.
Some of the coats, boxed jackets and puffer jackets were meant to invoke space flight, and the use of iridescent organza and tulle at times gave the show a stratospheric glow. There were fun bomber jackets, some with knit cutouts in the back, and one outfit with multi-colored Nordic-style knit shorts.
Aksu outfitted many of the models in elaborate, butterfly-shaped masks. He only exhibited a handful of more traditionally cut dresses, but several had strong impact, including a purple, floral-themed dress and a few carefully embroidered black outfits.
London’s diverse, up-from-the-streets fashion scene is thriving, generating about 32 billion pounds ($41 billion) last year, but industry leaders warn that Britain’s planned exit from the European Union in March could jeopardize the flow of creative people and ideas between continental Europe and Britain.
British Fashion Council chairwoman Stephanie Phair said Friday that Brexit is a chief concern for British designers. She urged the industry to focus on “what is important” for fashion: the free movement of people, tariff-free access to EU countries, and intellectual property rights.