Courtesy of Istanbul Fashion Week


Our 5 Favorite Collections From Istanbul Fashion Week Fall 2021

Quilted leather? Hot pink tulle? Istanbul had all that and more.

The fashion industry was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with runway shows and fashion weeks left in a state of confusion at best and chaos at worst. Last Friday, Istanbul completed its second successful fashion week during the pandemic, navigating government restrictions and evolving technology along the way. As a result, brands have found new methods of presenting their designs, resulting in innovative shows and collections that may not have come to fruition otherwise.

“Last year, a digital show or fashion video was a novelty. It’s crucial that we become more innovative with what we’re trying to showcase,” Seda Domaniç, founding editor-in-chief of Vogue Turkey told Business of Fashion. “Previously, the organization committee assisted in the production of all imagery and videos. This season, the designers have complete independence — it’s completely decentralized. We gave them total freedom so they can get as creative as possible.”

From fashion films to CGI models, Fall 2021 collection debuts appeared to thrive under the ongoing unusual circumstances. Below, Sudi Etuz, Ceren Ocak, Dice Kayek, and more of the must-know brands who showed during this year’s Istanbul Fashion Week.

Mehmet Emiroğlu

Courtesy of Istanbul Fashion Week

Instead of of letting the pressure of a pandemic burden him, designer Mehmet Emiroğlu found inspiration by going back to his fashion roots, leaving him with a collection of contrasting hues and striking silhouettes.

“This season I found my inspiration after I finished the process. As every designer knows, we never know what will trigger us to use a bright color, make a masculine form, or change the whole style in a season,” said Emiroğlu. “At the final-touch moment, I understood that I dedicated this collection to an unknown language between me and a past self.”

Sudi Etuz

Courtesy of Istanbul Fashion Week

Designer Sansim Adali has spent the past five years combining pop culture, streetwear, and innovative design practices to create Sudi Etuz. Founded in 2016, Sudi Etuz releases one collection a year, but Adali makes sure it’s worth it through bright colors and signature “origamic tulles.”

“Personally, I tried to adapt the ‘street couture leisure’ keywords to my collection. Now we have more indoor ready-to-wear looks instead of eveningwear,” Adali said of designing the collection during the COVID-19 pandemic. “It is the era of zero-waste samples, 100% digital visuals and content, and smart designs which fit to multiple occasions.”

Mehtap Elaidi

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Founded in the spring of 2000, Mehtap Elaidi was born out of the timelessness of a crisp white shirt. More than two decades later and the designer has evolved beyond its hero garment, but still maintaining her allegiance to a good quality cotton.

“The collection is a combination of comfy classics and unapologetic standouts to address our cravings to both dress up and to also stay comfortable (after a year in sweats),” Elaidi said of her current collection. “We created a sleek suit of an expertly tailored jacket with a unique detail, along with classic trousers with an elasticated waist. We used this idea of duality everywhere in the collection, from the design of our prints to our styling and photoshoot concept.

Ceren Ocak

Courtesy of Istanbul Fashion Week

With collections full of tailored bustiers, quilted leather, and plenty of cutouts, Ceren Ocak seems to be made for the Instagram set of 2021. Or, according to Ocak, any woman who approaches her style fearlessly.

“My inspiration in this collection is the strong women who live without fear of hiding,” she said. “Their stories, their stances in life. Women who are not afraid to be different, feel confident in their style, who do not hide themselves at a job interview, at dinner, or wherever they are.”

Dice Kayek

Courtesy of Istanbul Fashion Week

Founded by sisters Ece and Ayşe Ege in 1992, Dice Kayek has been evolving for decades. Most recently the Ege sisters have turned their focus to sustainability in the fashion industry, something they had more time to focus on during quarantine.

“We have been developing our line to be aligned with the new requirements for global sustainability, by using deadstock fabrics and items to create new garments, which is a key point of our evolution,” they said. “We use materials from certified sustainable sources and produce limited stock or bespoke pre-orders upon our clients’ request which reduces our carbon footprint drastically. We are working on smaller collections each season, with different drop shipments because we believe volume is the enemy of quality.

See more from Istanbul Fashion Week Fall 2021 on its website now.