After a very traumatising awakening this morning and the always awful experience of having my blood taken for the annual check to which my mum keeps submitting me with such a diligence, I decided to turn my day into a productive one by starting to post about my Turkish trip, whose we came back from a week ago...
Before showing you some pictures I've taken with my analogical 35mm camera, I decided to begin with a very random but great experience which I had the chance to take part to thanks to my friend Alice who has been living in Turkey for the past 5 months and who was hosting us...
In fact one of Alice's dearest friends for the time she has spent there was studying Fashion Design in her same University, which is probably the biggest one in Izmir and the only one in Turkey which does exchange programs with foreign students.
That's why we had the chance to go to the final Fashion Show of the graduates of this year in the Fashion design faculty!
It was a really great event, organised in the outdoor amphitheatre of the school, used for plays or conferences and which is surrounded by trees and gives a beautiful view of part of the city and one of its mosques...
A lot of people gathered together for the occasion in order to see the outfits created by these young designers who are now going to go out in the working world with them...
We were sitting with Alice and a very nice group of friends, mostly international and all there to support Anita Tari, the designer who was also the one whose collection caught my attention the most among all of them.
In fact, being there in front of a College Fashion Show, I couldn't help but compare it with another fashion show I've already told you about: the one I attended some weeks ago in Dublin, from all the students of Fashion Design of Griffith College, some of whom I am happy to call my friends.
The event in Dublin was much smaller, due to a deliberate choice of keeping it dedicated to the press, the relatives of the designer and very few other people, in order to give a feeling of exclusivity.
But even if the event looked small, the motto that says that the quality instead of the quantity is the most important thing came into my mind looking at the Designs going down the runway in Izmir.
The technical level, the style, the creativity of these girls who are about to graduate was very much lower than the one I could notice in the designs from the first year students of Griffith.
Colours were mostly plain, with some collections made of six white dresses that looked exactly the same or worse, very often badly made as well.
Sometime I wanted to scream, or laugh and ask if that was a joke or something.
How can you, fashion designer to be, present yourself to such a competitive and creative world by doing a boring blouse that doesn't even suit the model who's wearing it?
Also, there was A LOT of sportswear going on... which is quite awkward if we think about the fact that the final collection of a grad student of fashion design could be her very only chance to go crazy and show the world what she is able to do.
Sportswear has to be REALLY great to do the job, if not it risks to be quite limitating.
Thank God there was Anita saving the scene...
Her collection was the only one which despite being sportswear made me scream: Brava!
These girls were provided with incredible technologies, in fact they could make and develop their own prints and patterns as Anita told me later, but didn't know how to use them and evaluate them.
Also, if I could see the passion and care of Griffith students not only in the construction of their garments which were so well made even if they were not totally original and different, but also in the choice of materials, these Turkish designers looked like they had gone down to compromise, choosing cheap fabrics which of course looked exactly like they were: cheap.
They were also provided a great stage with professional lightning and the chance to present a video about them and their wok before the performance, in order to explain their concept and reveal their inspiration source.
I can only imagine how interesting and inspiring would have been to see that kind of video made by my friends Maria, Linn or Malin, designers at Griffith College Dublin, whose inspiration is the result of their reflection and passion.
In Izimir, most girls looked like they didn't really know what to say in these 2 minutes of shooting.
"Hello! I am..." , who cares?!
And maybe no one else too.
But anyway, even if now I'm ind of making it look like everything was bad, I must say there was some good in it as well.
Fist of all, Anita Tari.
She is Hungarian from Budapest and has been studying in Izmir with the Erasmus program for the last semester.
Even if I thought it was absolutely absurd that these girls were given a theme to develop for their own collection, instead of being let free to create their own thing, I liked the way in which Anita took the Ottoman symbols and translated them into a "skater" feeling, using alternative materials and different colours which made her collection the most interesting looking among all of them.
I also liked another one among the collections, very different from Anita's one as it was much more classic and structured, very far from Anita's sports wear, but whose use of materials such as a beautiful brocade and leather combined together created a very nice combination of an Oriental feeling given by the symbols in the prints and a sort of British-inspired horse-riding very elegant ensemble.
That one, I must say, was very good.
Apart from that I liked pieces here and there, but I was very surprised by one particular fact.
If in the collection of the girls in Griffith I noticed their experience and talent also because of their ability to give a general coherence to their work without doing the exact same over and over again, in Izmir's fashion show I felt like these designers had no clue of what coherence means.
It was either the exact same think with a little detail which was supposed to make the difference, or the complete opposite in every pieces, just as if the collection had been made by various designers of different tastes and technical level and then pasted together at the last moment.
This made me reflect on the fact that probably a reason for that might me that they are not really sure about their style and identity as designers yet, which is not very good as they are now graduates.
would it be possible to find some great fashion in a country which is so far behind compared with Europe and the rest of the world in the fashion sector?
A country where half of the population still hides behind a veil all the time?
A country where the rich ones live hand in hand with the poverty all around them and where they symbols of totally different countries links together making it particularly different to define an identity and cultural coherence?
I don't know, maybe it would, but for sure that designer will be an exception and gifted with a very precious gift: unique creativity and very strong personality.
Maybe that's why the most coherent collection was Anita's one: she was the only one among the girls who was not Turkish.
That says a lot.
Shouts to the other collection I've been telling you about, she might be the next great Turkish designer.
Anyway, I will stop right now, leaving you with my reflection and considerations and letting speak what should have spoken the most during all this post: the pictures and the designs.
Let me know your opinions!
And of course, stay tuned...