With a bright green image of 'Turquality' projected against the wall, the message of high-quality Turkish goods served as a precursor to Atil Kutoglu's Fall 2006 collection on day two of Fashion Week. The Istanbul native, who studied business administration in Vienna before launching his first collection in 1992 at Munich Fashion Week, has also shown in Desseldorf and Paris. Although based in Austria, he continues to work with the Turkish government to promote their garment and fabric industries. Mr. Kutoglu has been dressing European aristocracy and royalty for more than a decade. His impressive client list includes Princess Francesca von Habsburg, Prince Hubertus von Hohenlohe, the late Countess von Pilar Goess, and Austria's very own first lady, Sonja Klima. On the afternoon of Saturday February 4th, beneath the Promenade Tent, Mr. Kutoglu presented 42 sophisticated ensembles with crowd favorite Karolina Kurkova opening and closing the show.
Adam Bryant and Robert Ditacchio for Sebastian International pulled the hair off the face and up on the sides, leaving long locks to hang down in the back, with a slight (windblown wave) for a little body. The face was paler and cleaner than we've seen in past seasons with touches of rose on the lids, temples, and cheeks. The brow was strong, but the eyes were not overly done, the mouth took center stage, in deep earth tones of russet and brick.
While the collection was primarily comprised of warm, soft colors like dove grey, chocolate brown, caramel, and brick (a variation of the rust that has been immensely popular this season), there were a few vibrant splashes of color in the form of rose and turquoise. The range also featured two strong prints: (1) the Ottoman wool brocade mirrored an antique botanical print, with vivid swirls of saffron, midnight blue, and champagne popping against an elegant taupe background; the Ottoman print was shown in a pant and short jacket, but I felt it was most flattering in the long jacket form; (2) the Seraglio multicolored silk print was also fashioned in a number of variations' from an asymmetrical top to a pantsuit, but here my favorite incarnation was a stunning full-length strapless dress, the kind that you can saunter right off the beach into a fabulous dinner party wearing. The playful print featured a black background with orchid petals and stems dancing along the canvas to form tropical intermixed paisleys. The fabrics for this collection were sourced from Austria, France, Italy, Switzerland, and Turkey. Mr. Kutoglu's use of exquisite textures heightened a feeling of accessible luxury with everything from mink, fox, astrakhan, velvet, and silk crepe to leather, brocade, tapestry, and denim.
While the sophisticated Ottoman print was a favorite, many of the fur pieces stood out for me. Looks that I absolutely adored included the grey fox short jacket paired with a skinny black denim pant; a divine fur zip front dress with a chocolate calf skin cincture, and a stunning honey and brown ombre short mink jacket topping a narrow black pant! Other stunners worth mentioning were the rose silk chiffon dress with a boat neck and asymmetrical hem and a turquoise silk chiffon high-waisted gown, with dissecting panels running horizontally across the top half and vertically along the bottom for an elongated look. And of course no collection would be complete without a heart-stopping black dress; Mr. Kutoglu's version was incredibly sexy with a plunging v-neck! Considered one of Turkey's biggest exports Mr. Kutoglu's unique blend of luxe and mysticism translates beautifully and best of all you needn't be of noble birth to look amazing in one of his fetching creations!
Photos provided courtesy of Getty Images, photographer Fraser Harrison.