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Fashion Week Istanbul Day Two: Meltem Özbek, Redbeard, Sudi Etuz
03 May 2021
Fashion Week Istanbul Day Two: Meltem Özbek, Redbeard, Sudi Etuz
Here's everything you missed from the second day of Fashion Week Istanbul featuring Meltem Özbek, Redbeard, Nej and Sudi Etuz.

Watching the shows today, I was fascinated by how the classic pieces suddenly felt quite spiritual. “This time, it’s going to be different” our inner voice says. Fashion industry will hopefully change it’s momentum, not by increasing levels of branding or becoming more trendy, now is a time for authentic and storytelling clothes to come up to stage.

“We awoke to a world where everyone said everything but knew nothing” Turkish designer Çiğdem Akın says. Suddenly, her new collection ‘Nobody Knows’ appears. Akın believes there’s a better future for humankind.

So far, you should understand where this conversation is going. This year, Fashion Week has an anti-fashion behaviour. Meltem Özbek, on the other hand, takes her inspiration from physical or spiritual healing. Rather than creating a thematic collection, Turkish designer focused on searching for her innerself by creating concepts on human feelings and behaviour. The big story here is ‘duality’. Perfect balance between yin and yang energy, two ideas swirling together, and represent it literally in dark tones on sculptural forms against eye-catching colors.

Well the good news is that, Özbek is not alone. Nej strongly emphasized a new upcycled collection. Fabrics obtained from sustainable, protected and controlled forests, with the principles and conditions of sustainability and the liquid of eucalyptus trees come to life on Nej women’s body.

The Wise Tree, Tree of Life, of whatever you name it. ’Circle’ collection is a sense of awakening far beyond fashion to include natural resources, pollution, and global warming. Green and brown color palette is a stand for our dying eco-system. Pearl tones and fiery reds are Nej’s call for hope.

Tanju Babacan, founder of the Redbeard, is one of authentic designers doing great things. Has being cool, and being comfortable at the same time, Babacan has launched his new collection Mind’dala, and it was perfectly splendid.

“Mandala is like the future I have never known. Even if it feels like it goes coincidentally, every line you draw builds the whole. It’s like a tornado of sensations” he says. “My desire with this collection is beyond patterns though. I imagine my designs will bring the joy of mandala on fashion stage and wardrobes.’’ Actually, there is something Redbeard-ish about this collection. Something about the playful fabrics, geometrical forms, meditative symbols and authentical prints… Maybe it’s the vibrant colors, or maybe it’s the opposite; the pesimistic tones.

Bringing all cultures together, Istanbul Fashion Week is a bridge between big gaps. One of the designers who loves cultural mixology is Şansım Adalı. She aims to Turkish mythology, Asian flora and the Arcade game world at the same time. “One of my biggest dreams was to make a real journey through Asia, one of our local heritage routes, into the modern modern depths” says Şansım Adalı, founder of Sudi Etuz, “Even though the pandemic prevents us from experiencing this physically, Sudi Etuz is making this dream come true by inventing his own digital journey.”

From underground games to the symbol of Japan Sakura, from Aikido moves to dragon figures, it was a constant conversation between Asian patterns and Turkish mythology. Kimono puffs, maxi oversize jackets, silk print sweater, sustainable denim pants made from %96 recycled fabrics in oversize patterns were pulling imagery from street style culture but still moved by ready-to-wear fashion.

Author: Zeynep Gür