Aug 29, 2010

Istanbul Fashion Week: Day 5 Koton Beachwear

I wasn't familiar with the brand Koton until last year when I attended their fashion show which showcased their collaboration with Hakan Yildirim. I' found out that they have many stores outside of Turkey as well and are comparable to H&M or Mango with their ability to catch on quick to trends.

This time around I was invited to see their beachwear collection. It created a huge buzz beforehand because Victoria's Secret angel Alessandra Ambrosio was announced to be on the catwalk. In fact she opened and closed the show and finished thereby the last show of the fashion week.

There were lots of bikinis with interesting straps, one-pieces with original shoulder details and flowy, long cover-ups.


Istanbul Fashion Week: Day 5 Özlem Süer

Özlem Süer’s show was held at a beautiful location in the early evening that suited very much the collection we were presented. On the Maiden’s Tower, which is located in the Marmara Sea between Europe and Asia, a very decadent atmosphere awaited us.

Before the catwalk show we had a chance to see all the models together, who wore creations that would have pleased Marie Antoinette very much. But not just her, even I, who normallywouldn’t be attracted to such girly attire and rococo inspired setting, was mesmerized by the sight of them!

I'm sure this dress would have enchanted my soon-to-be-bride friend Leyla as well!


Aug 28, 2010

Istanbul Fashion Week: Day 4 Bahar Korcan


I took a step without knowing the name
Can’t see.
Broken lenses got mixed with the sand
Too much light, too little existence
Turn to yourself
Open your soul to the universe
Listen to every speck around you, every soul on a leaving journey
Close your eyes, listen!
Listen to the air
Listen to the soil
Listen to the time
Listen to the game
Discover the end

I rarely get a seat that good so I tried to take as many pictures as I could focusing on details. Bahar Korcan's show was quite different to the ones I attended so far beacuse it also involved a light show and a performance by the rapper Fuat.

I don't see myself as qualified enough to make profound statements about fashion and it's deeper meaning so you take from it whatever you want to. A couple of days earlier though I attended a panel at which the designer herself said that she had a rather critical approach to fast fashion and consumerism and wanted to remind people to slow down, "turn to themselves"and only surround themselves with things they really love as opposed to being insatiable. Even if I didn't like the creations that much (the details were intriguing though) I liked the theatrical touch of this show.


Jewelry shopping in Istanbul

I often get asked where I buy jewelry in Istanbul, mostly by people who are soon about to make a trip there and want some information about it. Well first of all, I'm not a local and my taste might not be yours but when I'm here I tend to look for "exotic" pieces, be it rings, necklaces or whatever.

The variety here is truly amazing: you can find everything ranging from historic Ottoman designs to traditional yellow gold, diamonds or other precious stones to contemporary pieces in silver. For a quick jewelry fix I mostly reach out to silver or gold-pleated ones but to be honest, mostly mine are just metal. If you take them off when washing your hands and don't spray perfume on your necklace you can keep them for quite some time.

So where should you go? The one place with the largest variety is probably the Grand Bazaar, which by the way is the world’s oldest shopping mall, having been established in 1453. Since it's a touristic hot-spot the prices are higher than somewhere else. The bazaar is so large that you probably won't be able to enter every street of it but once you get out of it the street east of the bazaar on the way to Sultanahmet is also lined with jewelry shops.

The Egyptian (Spice) Market also has several jewelry stores but I mostly buy mine in the streets surrounding the Spice market. But be aware that there are also many stores who only do wholesale. If all that fails, you probably end up at one time or other on Beyoglu's Istiklal street anyway so you might as well shop there...

Aug 26, 2010

Istanbul Fashion Week: Day 2

Bora Aksu S/S 2011

On the second day I only attended two shows, the first one being Atil Kutoglu and the second Bora Aksu.

London-based Turkish designer Bora Aksu has been part of the official schedule of London Fashion Feek since 2004 but this was his first catwalk show in Istanbul. The inspiration for his collection comes from Istanbul and its light, as the designer explains himself: "For me one of the best parts of Istanbul is the light that changes every single hour..." Consecuently the fabrics and colors chosen were also inspired by it: pastel colors that are divided by strong color blocks that create a strong contrast on light-reflecting materials like silk tulle, organza or brocade.

As much as I enjoyed the two shows I've been to today, I have a feeling that what I experience outside the shows is so much more fun than waiting in lines to get into the venue, for instance. Today I met Pelayo amongst others and had a really good time!

A little note for my sister :)

I love buying rings in Istanbul, this one is my newest.

For more immediate updates you can always follow me on Twitter.

Aug 25, 2010

Istanbul Modern revisited: Dice Kayek Istanbul Contrast exhibition opening

Before visiting the newest exhibition at the Istanbul Modern by Dice Kayek called "Istanbul Contrast" I couldn't help but take another look at Hussein Chalayan's exhibition. Since it was the opening of a new exhibition, this time around I snapped some pictures.

This picture isn't a part of any of the exhibitions I talked about so far but the bookworm I am was totally in awe walking under those books hanging from the ceiling... But let's move on to what's really new at Istanbul Modern:

In the exhibition "Istanbul Contrast" Dice Kayek interprets the different and sometimes contradicting faces of the glorious history of Istanbul, one of the most beautiful blends of past and present. There are 26 designs under 12 different themes, each symbolizing a different vision of Istanbul.


"Doves are among the oldest residents of this city - free, serene, peaceful... They talk in a language of their own, live in a world of their own, beyond and above the hustle and bustle of the crowds. Birds coo and strut around the plazas. Some of us walk past them without paying any heed to their beauty while some others stop to talk to them in the language of doves.."


"The sunlight that reflects from Istanbul's myriad domes gets into your eyes sometimes. You stop and stare at the city, a serene smile etching itself onto your face. As chaotic and complicated is the urban landscape, the domes are always calm and peaceful."


"The residence of Ottoman Sultans for 400 years, a palace of splendor, glory, beauty and never-ending stories. Its home to magnificent tiles, courtyards, gates, gardens and gems... and secrets still waiting to be discovered."

Istanbul by Night

"Under the dark liquid sky while one Istanbul is fast asleep, the other Istanbul is fully awake. That is why they say this is a city that never sleeps. The cab drivers working night shifts know the many faces of Istanbul by night - it's colors, melodic contours, vigorous rhythm and strong will..."

Istanbul Flowers

"No one knows about love like the flowers of Istanbul... Since time immemorial they are the silent witnesses of our stories of love and longing. They are life-long companions in celebrations, greetings, joy and friendship. And among all the flowers that are dear to us Istanbulites, it is the tulip that this city loves most and we believe, tulips love this city too..."

Exhibition duration:
August 26 - September 19 2010

Istanbul Fashion Week: Day 1

The opening presentation to the third Istanbul Fashion Week was the KOZA Young designers contest, which was supported by the Istanbul Fashion Academy and ELLE Turkey. Many aspiring talents competed in the two categories Ready-to-Wear and Leather and five of them were the winners of the evening. The leather industry is one of the significant export sectors of Turkey and by encouraging the young designers to put their creativity into it will help to combine unique designs and high quality production.

Since ELLE Turkey was part of the organization of this event they put together a little gathering with their editors from different countries like Belgium, the Netherlands and the US amongst others. The aftershow party which was held at Reina with its breathtaking view was the perfect ending to the kick-off event and left me with more excitement for the days to come...

Elle Turkey Publishing Director Isin Görmüs and Elle US editor Kate Lanphear

The Bosphorus view at Reina

Aug 21, 2010

Hussein Chalayan exhibition at Istanbul Modern

Saturday afternoon I went to a place I’ve never been before, the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art. Since I knew there was an exhibition held by Hussein Chalayan, one of the pioneering names of contemporary design, I decided to have a look. I was familiar with his name but not really with his work so it was really worthwile and put me in the right mood for Fashion Week. For those who want to know more about him I assembled some information and pictures from the web, as I was not allowed to take pictures inside the museum myself.

Hüseyin Caglayan (how his name is written in Turkish) was born in Nicosia/Cyprus in 1970 and graduated from Central St. Martins College of Art and Design in London. In 1994 he launched his own label and since then, has twice been named British Designer of the Year. Today he is seen as one of the most visionary designers working in fashion and is well-known for an innovative use of materials and a progressive attitude towards new technology.

Walking through the exhibition I became aware that he also draws inspirations from disciplines that are not necessarily associated with fashion such as anthropology, history, science and philosophy. The exhibition, which not only presents his fashion collections but also art and film projects created between 1994 and 2010, is open until 24 October 2010. If you are in Istanbul or travelling around I’d say don’t miss it!

Source: 1: TheVine 2: Durubutik

He ate my heart

shirt - h&m, indian necklace - subway shop korea

I'm still in hot and humid Seoul! ^^
I just wanted to show you some details of my lovely new necklace! The mix of turquoise and orange is divine, the stones are kind of heavy though..
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