These days, fashion can dictate not only colors and outfits but even modes of behavior. This season, for example, exaggeratedly confident styles have not been common.
Set aside for a moment the exaggerated and colorful furs, the anarchist-inspired punk styles and the digital designs that challenge our eyes; people who are really interested in fashion are now pursuing other things. The days when the concept of luxury was perceived as having to be showy are far behind. Nowadays, the workmanship and quality of the fabric on clothing might be as high as ever, but pieces tend to favor more modest styles. Some runways might still resemble chaotic street fairs, but collections using pastel tones to focus on looks that elicit descriptions like “elegant” and “aristocratic” are becoming noticed very quickly. Furthermore, even though only few elements of society in Turkey are aware of this fashion movement, there can be no denying that it’s spreading fast. Recently, I attended a daytime function where I was quite surprised to several conservative women, all close followers of fashion and wearing outfits and accessories that would usually be seen only at a wedding. It was odd to see not only a lack of firm distinction between a daytime and a nighttime event in terms of styles being worn, but also the fact that everyone seemed to be interested in the same pieces. I suppose we could consider this a problem brought about by an excessive devotion to brands; maybe we restrict ourselves to certain brands just to feel accepted in certain circles. Perhaps it will take more time to get over this?
Colors and melancholic cuts
Designers have been showcasing modest styles that seem to promise a winter of romance. Winter, of course, brings a tendency to introversion, reading and thinking. Collections that seem to boast more powdery and bone tones than the classic black, bordeaux, and brown colors we are used to seeing at this time of year could challenge the melancholy atmosphere that the weather creates. Clear-cut silhouettes add a seriousness and clarity to the general look; fashion is not ignoring the strong-minded and independent city-dwelling women. And, during this unusual period in which it is unclear whether Istanbul is in the midst of spring or winter, the powdery tones we are seeing coincide very well with the weather.
Some of the outstanding pieces this season are coats in pastel tones. The oversize coats from minimalist brands — like Carven, Proenza Schouler and Celine — look fit to be worn by princesses, and seem to exhale the promise of a bohemian, if luxurious, life. Last winter we also saw these pastels popping up, although those coats featured jeweled buttons and showy brooches. This winter, in contrast, buttons have not received much attention from designers.
Pastel in knitwear and accessories
Knitwear seems to boast the greatest proliferation of pastel colors these days, in the shape of sweaters, oversize cardigans and other thickly-knitted pieces. Of course, the fact that light-colored knitwear can be worn until spring is an advantage. The light pastel colors can also be seen in nude-toned shoes and handbags; labels like Dior, Valentino, Celine and Mulberry have produced tones that go from ice-blue to cream, and many shades between. Yet another proof that even in the world of accessories, the division between summer and winter palettes is constantly being reduced.
The return of the ‘şahmeran’ in the world of Turkish jewelry
The sheer variety in the world of jewelry in Turkey is very noticeable at the moment. One reason for this is the growing number of partnerships between Turkish businesses and globally famous jewelry companies. A positive result of cooperation is the prominence being given to design, because if a company really wants to do well in the jewelry sector, it must lavish attention on design. Young designers in Turkey might well have an advantage compared to their older compatriots. Lately, one of the most vivid designs to be seen in jewelry has been that of the legendary “şahmeran,” or mythical beast with a human head and the body of a snake. However, instead of exaggerated and embellished designs, we are seeing simple and perhaps ironic designs featuring this unique creature. The “şahmeran” has traditionally been a design favored by Anatolian women, but now, perhaps inspired by its appearance in popular TV series, it can be seen more and more among city women.