For the Bora Aksu Fall/Winter 22 collection, everything revolves around the richness of the 14th century Renaissance. Inspired by the prolific poet Christine de Pizan, she was not only known as an author at the court of King Charles VI of France, but also for writing feminist texts and advocating for women’s rights – a revolutionary of the 1300s.
Bora’s take on this heroine translates into ethereal silhouettes, scoop-neck dresses crafted from her signature taffeta and tulle fabrics, which sit alongside bold structural pieces. Soft hues contrast with navy blues and blacks, then there are details in the form of a deep blue thread running through the entire collection as an ode to de Pizan’s most famous portrait which shows her wearing a dress fluid of the deepest blue.
London-based Bora tells us what to know about her latest demi-couture collection.
Bora Aksu muse: The muse behind any collection is so important to me because I always start building a collection around a character, storytelling is a big part of the Bora Aksu brand. For AW22, I was inspired by the life and peerless achievements of medieval writer and historiographer Christine de Pisan who advocated for women’s equality. Her works, considered some of the earliest feminist writing, include poetry, novels, biographies and autobiographies, as well as literary and political commentary. De Pisan became the first woman in France, and possibly in Europe, to earn her living solely by writing. I was fascinated by her timeless approach and wanted to bring her back to the present.
The place of the show: Fashion shows are the perfect tools to create a visual language. The venues each season have such an important role in creating the vision that I try to represent through my collections.
London is so well known for its creativity, freedom, arts and individuality. St James The Less Church in Pimlico has a unique architecture and the Gothic Revival signature that is represented throughout the AW22 collection. It was the first ever fashion show held in the church and filled the main hall with live music, with the beauty of this collection and the energy of a very special and moving show.
Recycled fabrics: I feel like we’re in a time where we all need to be more considerate and less consuming. As part of the collection journey, I also looked for fabrics that weren’t newly produced or polished, instead I asked to see leftover fabrics and fabrics stuck in manufacturers’ backrooms due to their discoloration or aged appearance. These once rejected fabrics became the main fabrics of the most elaborate garments. Instead of hiding their flaws, I displayed them in all their glory in the collection showing that beauty comes in many forms.
The music: German-Brazilian musician, visual artist and actress Gloria De Oliveira came from Berlin to perform at the AW22 show. Her truly haunting and romantic voice set the tone perfectly for a unique and haunting performance during our parade at St James The Less Church.
Humor: One of the most interesting parts of the research process for any collection is finding items you haven’t known before and how they can develop into key points of inspiration for a collections journey. A key detail of this collection is something I took directly from the most famous portrait of de Pizan herself. The painting depicts the author deep in thought at her writing table accompanied by her beloved dog and dressed in a flowing dress of deep blue. This blue is a common thread throughout the collection, linking taffeta dresses, cropped jackets and bringing the voluminous and rich Renaissance style to life in the 21st century. De Pizan’s dog appears as a motif throughout the collection.
See more at boraaksu.com.