By Melis Hafizoglu

Istanbul Fashion Week kicked off October 14-17 with an array of independent designers. Themed “Istanbul State of Mind,” this week revolved around the intersection of different creative disciplines coming together to influence fashion. These collections were presented at an antique Liquor Factory and a modern apartment in Akaretler to mesh both historical and modern Turkey, with an emphasis on street style. Notable participants ranged from seasoned designers Arzu Kaprol and Yakup Bicer to the up and coming SBNM and Nihan Peker. Arzu Kaprol’s collection brought muted primary colors with relaxed silhouettes, focusing on detail with impeccably pleated dresses. This was not Arzu Kaprol’s first rodeo, as she showcases an impressive track record, ranging from a collection designed for the Metropolitan Museum of Art to a showroom on Rue Saint Honore in Paris.

Another popular name, Yakup Bicer brought a collection for his brand Y PLUS, which aims to change the perception of the style with sophisticated, avant-garde and comfortable unexpected layerings defining the ‘New Cool’ regardless of gender. SBNM brought an athleisure angle to the table, a trending style of streetwear post-pandemic. They debuted youthful colors and prints with retro silhouettes. An interesting take were the athleisure dresses, lending this trend a more high fashion look. Nihan Peker debuted her new Fall ‘21 collection, focusing on bold colors and volume while still maintaining a sense of elegance. Perhaps one of the more artistic lenses brought to this fashion week was Tanju Babacan’s REDBEARD collection. While his focus is on Haute Couture, he aims to make sure his collections are accessible for most consumers with a bit more of a streetwear take. He went with a color scheme of black, white, red, and gold in his pieces. Overall, Istanbul Fashion Week provided a glance into some of the unique designers based out of a country that has a low key yet influential role in the fashion industry.