Honestly, I am a little disappointed by the IFW this year. I know that the general rhetoric about the fashion week is all too positive, as everyone constantly argues what a huge step it is for the fashion industry in Turkey. However, it should be marked that IFW is not a natural outflow of a improvement within our fashion culture, instead it is more of an artificially imposed week that is tried to be maintained each year, for the belief that someday Istanbul will be the new centre of fashion, much like its counterparts such as Milano, New York or Paris.
Even though Istnabul is drastically distant from these cities' heritage of fashion, it does not necessarily mean that Istanbul will never get there. However, in achieving this overly ambitious goal, there is a lot of responsibilty lying on the shoulders of Turkish designers. This is the time that our designers should realize that they are more than tailors with a glimse of an eye for this stuff, but instead they should force themselves to be real artists. We do not have fashion geniuses yet, no Gallianos, no Lagerfelds obviously; but if we ever want to get there, we should stop being too cautious, even maybe too wearable and start to pursue sophistication from a bolder perspective. If the aim is to make Turkish fashion a brand, then it is not just to only feel honored when Hakaan wins the ANDAM or Hussein Chalayan opens his retrospective exhibition. The issue is making it a whole. And I know, sincerely, that this is not an easy goal.
Turkish fashion can never be truly repudiated unless it starts to put on real shows, not some simplistic runways. Fashion show is not simply tailoring some clothes and showing them to potential customers, it is about following an ideal. An ideal that should be worked upon so meticulously that when a show is on, its music, atmosphere, its models, the mood of its models should all be coherent to follow a certain theme. I am not talking about naming the shows. It is so easy to do it. Instead, designers should run after more, should push themselves more and more importantly divorce themselves from all sorts of sales anxities. Sales is the business of others, the professionals that they hire for this specific job. Designers should only exist with their artistic stance. Nothing more, nothing less.
This is the reason that I am disappointed with this years Istanbul Fashion Week. Because I feel like there is no huge step taken forward. It is a dublication or a modified version of designers' previous collection. Bringing famous models or foreign Vogue editors is not the answer. The real focus should be on the fashion week itself instead of some model. After the event established itself fully and successfully, blogger and editors will pour in the doors by themselves. The issue is making a brand out of Istanbul and this year did not add much to last year. Unfortunately that made me suspicious of next year's glory.
I hope next year's IFW will prove me wrong...