Istanbul based designer extraordinaire, Hakan Akkaya, returned to the runways of NYFW this season, after taking a one season breather. It seems the rest did him some good as his Fall 2020 collection for men & women is one of his best ever!
Shown at the vibey Stage C of Chelsea’s Pier59 Studios & entitled “Justice”, the collection was inspired by the melding of the worlds of Amish Culture & Punk Radicalism, the two somehow joined as one & the result was in a word: Glorious!
Akkaya has never been one to shy from the extreme & this season was no different. Once again colored exclusively in Black & White, the collection didn’t suffer in the least from the limited palette. In fact, the distraction of color served to celebrate the real news, which were his silhouettes. In our opinion, Hakan Akkaya is one of the most talented, novel, inspired & genuinely nicest designers currently showing on the runways of NYFW. Hands down.
The opening ensemble, obviously intended to raise a few eyebrows… showed as much skin as Lady Gaga would while out grocery shopping… Amish???… but look two onward, the provincial inspiration as evident, as was the rebellious overtones from the punk side off the thematic exploration. Every piece that seemed overly “prudish” was deftly offset with body piercing elements, or in this case “garment piercings” such as large ear/nose rings being used atop sleeve caps or hanging off ever every finger of black latex gloves. The affect was part fetish, part functional & ornamental, part naughty & celebratory, all mixed into one.
The most noteworthy silhouettes were, in our humble opinion, the oversized, voluminous coats that hinted at Kimonos, but it would be far too much a stretch to call them as such. They were sensational & will undoubtedly be seen in more than one box at the Opera this Fall, with no-one, perhaps not even the wearer, aware of the crazy inspiration from which these pieces were spawned. Therein lies the mark of such great design, not to mention the Socio-drama of the runway. Well designed pieces like these can make a political statement in one vignette & a tasteful fashion statement in the next. The same brilliance could be found in countless other instances in this collection rich with noteworthy ensembles.
For men, the numerous plays on crisp White shirting, produced many celebratory moments. One floor length tunic that appeared towards the end of the show, worn over a Black trouser with a simple tie, referencing a sort of modern, minimalist take on the Dashiki was one of the best men’s ensembles of the week!
From the garments to the casting to the staging, this show shined. Hakan Akkaya truly is one of the standout talents currently showing on the U.S. runways… now we just have to convince the retailers of this fact. If they don’t soon catch on, it is clear to us that the only “Justice” in fashion is on the runways!
Designer website: www.hakanakkaya.com.tr
Photos: Elvia Gobbo Photography