A Wacky Start to Istanbul Fashion Week

ISTANBUL--Really. I'm here in gorgeous Istanbul covering Istanbul Fashion Week, which kicked off last night. Hard as it was to stay awake for the first show after a ten hour flight and no sleep, the designs at the KOZA student show held my attention rapt. More on that in a second. First, a bit about the venue. Istanbul Fashion Week is housed in the Taskisla Technical University, a gorgeous old stone building with a huge courtyard, which was all strung up with lights for last night's event. To get to the show venue, however, is a bit of a maze. Attendees wind down stone stairs and through tunnels covered in red velvet, before arriving at the space which looks like, well, most any old runway venue, only shorter.
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Leah Chernikoff
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ISTANBUL--Really. I'm here in gorgeous Istanbul covering Istanbul Fashion Week, which kicked off last night. Hard as it was to stay awake for the first show after a ten hour flight and no sleep, the designs at the KOZA student show held my attention rapt. More on that in a second. First, a bit about the venue. Istanbul Fashion Week is housed in the Taskisla Technical University, a gorgeous old stone building with a huge courtyard, which was all strung up with lights for last night's event. To get to the show venue, however, is a bit of a maze. Attendees wind down stone stairs and through tunnels covered in red velvet, before arriving at the space which looks like, well, most any old runway venue, only shorter.
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ISTANBUL--Really.

I'm here in gorgeous Istanbul covering Istanbul Fashion Week, which kicked off last night. Hard as it was to stay awake for the first show after a ten hour flight and no sleep, the designs at the KOZA student show held my attention rapt. More on that in a second.

First, a bit about the venue. Istanbul Fashion Week is housed in the Taskisla Technical University, a gorgeous old stone building with a huge courtyard, which was all strung up with lights for last night's event. To get to the show venue, however, is a bit of a maze. Attendees wind down stone stairs and through tunnels covered in red velvet, before arriving at the space which looks like, well, most any old runway venue, only shorter.

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Back to the show. It was almost a Turkish Project Runway. 25 students showcased designs that were classified as either RTW or "leather" and winners were announced at the end. Here's what I saw: a leather gas mask, a leather surgical mask, a bird cage as a purse, and a man dressed as a fashiony pirate. Some of the leather work was very intricate and impressive. We're just hoping the leather masks don't catch on. But Turkish designers take risks. And that is never a bad thing.

Click through to see more from Day 1 of Istanbul Fashion Week.