London Fashion Week got off to a colourful start on Friday with a sun-drenched trip to the Aegean Sea courtesy of Turkish designer Bora Aksu, who whisked trend-setters away from Britain’s dreary autumn drizzle.
Aksu hunted through childhood memories for inspiration for his new spring/summer 2014 collection, which heavily featured the colours of Turkey’s traditional “evil eye” lucky amulet — indigo, white and pale blue.
Mixing quilted cotton, silk tulle and delicate crochet, the Turkish designer teamed his feminine silhouettes with embellished shoulders, high heels and messy bun hairstyles.
Skirts and shorts were matched with bolero jackets and sleeveless vests, while touches of lace gave a nod to tradition.
“When I realised that this would be my tenth year at London fashion Week, it struck me how long it has been since I left Turkey,” the British-based designer said.
“I felt that I wanted to re-ignite the passion coming from the rich culture and traditional artistry of Turkey that had inspired me in the first place.”
Sudden bursts of hot Mediterranean colour punctuated Aksu’s show, including a bright golden-yellow skirt and a majestic floor-length fuchsia dress.
Brilliant yellow also made an appearance in the catwalk show by Latvian-Israeli duo Fyodor Golan, but they went for a more urban, sporty look.
Their new collection, dubbed “Electric Children”, paired shorts, skirts and trousers with bras, sports jackets and sweatshirts as well as natty white patent shoes.
Silky, transparent fabrics and feathers brought a touch of elegance to the duo’s athletic designs.
They kept the look young and fun, with one corset top seemingly stitched together from dozens of yellow smiley faces in a nod to the 1980s, while acid colours brought a hint of psychedelia to pleated dresses.
For young South Korean designer J. JS Lee, minimalism reigned supreme.
Monochrome and sharp silhouettes dominated her collection, broken up by blocks of pink and turquoise. Her models wore flat sandals with their hair side-parted in low ponytails.
Bright red lipstick gave a flash of colour to a sober ensemble of black trousers with a white sleeveless blouse.
Other designs played with geometry, such as a PVC dress in gingham print, and a checkered fine-knit sweater.
Seen as the edgier sibling of Paris, Milan and New York, a total of 58 catwalk shows are crammed into London Fashion Week’s five-day programme.
The London event sees the biggest names in British fashion, including Burberry, Paul Smith and Vivienne Westwood, rub shoulders with up-and-coming designers such as Christopher Kane, Mary Katrantzou and Henry Holland.
Brazilian designer Barbara Casasola is one of this year’s newcomers to London Fashion Week, which will also feature new collections by Tom Ford and Stella McCartney for Adidas.
London Fashion Week attracts more than 5,000 buyers and journalists and sees designers take in more than £100 million ($159 million, 120 million euros), according to its organisers, the British Fashion Council.