Imagery throughout courtesy of Essence CommunicationsOne of the best designers to practice within the UK, Bora Aksu was a show I was particularly looking forward to this season; however I sadly missed out due to other shows on the main schedule running late. Entitled Angel + Fiend, Aksu’s AW11 offering is born out of the duel in humanity where angel and fiend each strive for mastery. Highlighting contrasts of proper and improper Angel + Fiend echoes many sentiments that can be found in the story and time of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
Taking traditional men’s tailoring reminisant of the late Victorian era (think along the lines of long capes, bow ties and tailored jackets), Aksu cleverly transforms masculine shapes with feminine pleats, texture and volume. Showcasing a plethora of elegant and ethereal cocktail dresses, interesting fabric choices were at the fore with Aksu utilising leather to great effect as piping on dresses made from individual panels, bound with cord. Imaginative use of plastics and leather were used to represent the animalistic core beneath the polished exterior of silks and gentry tweeds.
Of his inspiration Aksu said; “Old movie posters and book covers of Jekyll and Hyde and Sweeny Todd were good reference points. Dark motives hidden by an air of respectability was very interesting and how to incorporate both those characteristics into one look. It also allowed me to play with shapes and fabrics especially when considering the tailored pieces.”