Mercedes-Benz Focus: Ozlem Kaya

Sharp tailoring and experimental fabrics from the emerging designer at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Istanbul

Now in her sixth season at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Istanbul, Ozlem Kaya has developed an aesthetic that combines sharp tailoring, experimental fabrics and contemporary street wear references. This season she cited 80s glam rock as her initial starting point, something that gradually developed into her use of gold lamé, oversized shoulder pads and body-con dresses. “I am rather experimental when it comes to choosing fabrics,” she explained in her studio. “I refrain away from using conventional ones... I try to find different and distinctive kinds.” This was evident in her use of quilted materials, which made up large puffa jackets, oversized skirts and box-like trousers – generating volume on the body. Whilst velvet and embossed leather appeared on tight pencil skirts and feminine dresses.

“Istanbul is my favourite city,” she continued. “It’s kind of a love and hate relationship. I like historic places. Nisantasi, where I work, is not historic at all, but I really enjoy strolling around in historical places....Untouched surroundings inspire me.” Kaya also places emphasis on modern processes, using digital printing techniques to create a grey lycra catsuit and working with synthetic sportswear materials. “It is not all about İstanbul,”she said. “I also was inspired from the street culture in Europe.”


Music courtesy of Digital Farm Animals

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