ISTANBUL--When most designers present their collections they put their clothes on models and send them down a runway. But Özlem Süer's SS 2011 show (a performance, really) bucked against convention.
The show was on a small islet in the Bosphorus where the Maiden's Tower, an old light house dating back to 408 BC, sits.
Once there, I felt transported, and not just because I was physically transported to an island in the middle of the Bosphorus for a fashion show. From the minute we stepped onto the boats that would bring us to the Maiden's Tower, we were in Özlem Süer fashion "dream land" where she invited attendees to become "heros" in her story. The experience was pure fantasy: there were mimes, winged creatures, and models dressed like Marie Antoinette on stilts.
My journey to Süer's "dream land," broken down:
First, we boarded boats to take us to the islet. We were greeted by mimes. Really.
Leaving mainland Istanbul behind.
We approach the tiny islet that houses the Maiden's Tower.
As we get closer to the island, it becomes clear that what looked like flags waving off the turret are actually models with brightly colored wings.
When we came ashore, we were welcomed by servers with baskets of fresh fruit and nuts.
Inside the Maiden's Tower, Süer's collection was displayed like a tableau from modern day Versaille. But the models weren't frozen--they had drinks and hand mirrors and interacted with each other. The same models, in the same flowy romantic gowns, then walked on a runway that wrapped around the border of the Maiden Tower.
And while all of this was going on--fruit and drinks passed around, mimes scattered throughout, winged models flapping at the top of the tower, models with Marie Antoinette-ish hair posed as if in a painting--models on five foot stilts in powedered wigs and flowing gathered white gowns teetered by elegantly.
Mind blown. The end.