ELLEUK

Catwalk

Bora Aksu

Inspired by post-war dancehall stars the Dolly sisters, Bora Aksu's autumn/winter 2013 collection promises his customer 'more strength', inspired by 'a time where [women] flouted conventions and controlled their own destiny'.

Things are awfully strict for our pioneering flapper girl, though, in terms of silhouette: leather pencil skirts are cut thigh-cloyingly close, the textured knit sheathes are tight, the necklines high. Lace-through corsets are cinched over sheer collared blouses. (Even the models' hair was pulled drum-tight and coiled into plaits at the back of the head, and topped off with ornate skull-caps.)

That said, these are pieces to be worn. There was nary a hem above the knee, as is historically correct, and every look was styled breezily with black opaque tight and high boots.

They're covetable, too, in a utilitarian palette of navy, khaki, grey and cream - shot through with deep purples and fuchsia to symbolise the Dollys' 'bruised hearts' - and a focus on luxury leathers, lace, suede and embroidered wool. Separates also come to the fore, where dresses have been the traditional core of seasons past.

The show notes reveal that the corsetry is ironic, 'used as a nod to [its] demise from everyday wardrobe during the period'.

Freedom from such constraint was symbolised by relaxed, fluid touches: puffed sleeves, diaphanous, babydoll smocks and two beautiful moments where a voluminous mesh overlay obscured the ultra-tight leather foundation beneath it.

Deep. And, dare we say, rather brilliant.

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