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.
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.