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Thirty shows from Istanbul’s finest aesthetes, all inspired by the city’s rich diversity.

It’s hard to avoid the Big Four – Paris, Milan, London, New York – in the world of fashion. These four cities seem to hold the permanent marker when it comes to the calendars, momentarily handing over the pen only for the likes of Tokyo and Berlin, or, more recently, LA and Madrid. 

One city that’s on the rise, though, is Istanbul. Today marks the return of its relatively nascent fashion week, this time going digital (duh!) and beaming its content across the world via socials and a dedicated site. The showcase pivots around Istanbul being both ‘unifying’ and ‘universal’, bringing together old and contemporary cultural influences, interdisciplinary artists and a new wave of young creatives fostered by Istanbul Fashion Academy’s NEW GEN project.

There’s a lot to sink your stilettos into, too. Thirty shows are to be broadcast over the next few days, featuring established ready-to-wear designers (MEHTAP ALAIDI) worldwide luxury mainstays (Lug Von Siga), sustainable pioneers (NEJ) and genderless mavericks (Y-Plus). Day one’s just kicked off and we’ve been eyeballing the collections that have already dropped. Here are a few of our faves so far to get you started – who knows, one of ‘em could be the next Bora Aksu…

Mehmet Emiroğlu

Ready-to-wear designer Mehmet Emiroglu has been gaining hype in his Vogue Turkey recently thanks to his boldly-silhouetted womenswear. His latest FW21 collection revolves around a gallery-inspired palette – Klein Blue, black, white, grey – spiked with pops of red and camel. Statement dresses join with quilted trousers, oversized coats and utilitarian bodysuits, ready for city struts and bold, nocturnal looks.

Watch here.

Ceren Ocak

Overlayed on a deep crimson backdrop, Ceren Ocak’s latest collection is eye-candy for minimalists, energising two-pieces, suits and all-in-ones with ribbed, pleated textures. The panelled approach goes full circle when placed in the context of the launch film, seeing its models whirl around Byzantine columns and two-tone stone floors.

Watch here.

Niyazi Erdogan

Niyazi Erdogan’s latest collection launches with a cosmic video, blending celestial bodies with pomegranate planets (like, literally, we think). It sets the scene for mustard suits and Thunderbirds-era haircuts, before giving way to a cloudy background and cartoon, racer-style pullovers, tees and trench coats. Far out, man.

Watch here.

Fashion Week Istanbul runs from April 13 to April 16, and you can savour every pixel for free here.

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