Thursday, October 20, 2011


Posted by Fashion Junior at Large

I'm here in a brilliantly sunny, if chilly, Istanbul as a guest of Turkish born, London based designer Bora Aksu to celebrate his collaboration with Armaggan- a store which kind of sums up what Turkey is really about at the moment; the combination of ancient and modern. Armaggan describes itself as 'masterfully combining original contemporary designs with traditional techniques'. I've only been in the city a few hours but I can already sense that it has evolved in a way which complements the magnificent architecture which is everywhere and embraces the routines of coffee, tea and spices, mosque-going and bazaar browsing. I've just returned from lunch at Pandeli restaurant above the city's Spice Bazaar, a foodie feast. I can hear the call to mosque and I can still smell the strong coffee of the bazaar. Tonight, I'm off to the launch of Bora Aksu's collection, much more about that tomorrow. In the meantime, a taster of the Istanbul I've peeked so far...

Through the windows looking onto the Spice Bazaar at Pandeli

Pandeli's famous blue tiles, there since 1955

Bustle of the Spice Bazaar
Ancient and modern...

Everywhere you turn there is another mosque to drop one's jaw at...

The Bosphorus is bright and twinkling

Fishermen beside my hotel

Islamic tile patterns

I love a horse
Turkish slippers and tiles

Old Istanbul

An aspect of Turkish culture which I'm glad to have learnt more about is the Hamam...

'Long before Turkish tribes swept into Anatolia, they had established healthy bathing traditions. Upon their arrival in Asia Minor, the structure of the Byzantine bathhouse merged with Turkish bathing rituals, and the "hamam" was born. Since then the Turkish bath, originally named "hamam", has been an indispensable symbol of the Turkish culture, inspiring many song writers and poets throughout history'
Everything one needs for a Hamam including the Pesteman (towel) and the Kese (glove made from silk, cotton or goat's hair used to scour the skin)
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