Because the hurricane-strength winds of Storm Eunice descended this morning, canceled trains and a stay-at-home warning from mayor Sadiq Khan might not have offered essentially the most auspicious begin to London Vogue Week. However inside the confines of the Nineteenth-century church in Pimlico the place Bora Aksu confirmed his newest assortment of whimsical tulle and taffeta confections, as the sunshine streamed by means of stained glass home windows whereas Gloria de Oliveira sang a sweetly mournful cowl of PJ Harvey’s “Down By the Water,” you’d be forgiven for considering there was no storm in any respect.
Persevering with his thread of taking missed girls from historical past as a place to begin—final season that was the extravagant Dutch socialite Mathilde Willink—Aksu paid homage to the author, poet, and historian Christine de Pizan, a 14th-century Italian noblewoman who served on the courtroom of King Charles VI of France, and whose texts are acknowledged as a number of the earliest feminist writings in historical past (if such a time period will be utilized to the late medieval interval, anyway). It offered an ideal jumping-off level for Aksu’s frothy model of romanticism, in addition to the idea for a steelier subtext to the gathering, rooted in tailoring particulars and a delicate contact of grunge.
“We wished to take Christine and convey her into the Nineteen Nineties,” stated Aksu of the gathering’s surprising time warp. “I felt there was a parallel with the power and freedom of the ’90s girl, and that perspective the place you don’t actually care what society thinks of you. We took that early Renaissance look and toughened it up somewhat bit.” To wit, his layered robes with their full sleeves and billowing skirts have been styled with stompy lace-up boots, whereas his fashions got here with uneven bobs and kohl-rimmed eyelids. Extra attention-grabbing, maybe, have been the wealthy interplays of texture Aksu toyed round with this season—tweed and broderie anglaise, moiré silk and crystal embroideries—with most of the clothes constructed up from upcycled offcuts. A few of these constituent elements got here artfully worn or stained, including a contact of lived-in seaminess that properly offset a number of the appears that will in any other case have erred in direction of the saccharine.
Aksu additionally introduced a contact of mild humor to the gathering, seeking to a portrait of de Pizan during which she sits at her writing desk accompanied by her beloved canine, the latter reappearing as purses crafted from stuffed gingham and belt particulars in colourful plaids. The storm might have been swirling outdoors, however together with his preternatural calm and infectious sense of cheer—even whereas playfully clashing collectively girls from throughout the centuries—Aksu will need to have been sitting proper in its eye.