What an elegant and sumptuous visual masterclass we experienced for Bora Aksu’s AW20 collection, with Hilma af Klint, one of the world’s most pioneering abstract artists, serving as the inspiration. Having been born in Sweden in 1862, Hilma followed a path as was expected for a woman with artistic talent of her time, studying classical drawing and painting techniques at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Stockholm. The soul incarnates in this material plane with gifts to be expressed, although not always in an ‘atypical’ way, and this was the journey of Hilma, who after the loss of her sister in 1896, turned to spiritualism and formed a group with four other women artists called the ‘five.’ As part of the group, she created experimental automatic drawings, leading her towards inventive geometric visual language, containing visual representations of the divine creation behind all things such as the flower of life, fractals of light and concepts such as ‘as above so below’.
This collection showcased a beautiful contrast between the traditional side of the Victorian artist, containing sombre tones and shapes, with the feminine flow of tulle and bright colours expressing her abstract expression of divinity as an artist. There were also more structured shapes in the Victoriana pieces, showing how women were only accepted in this world if they tried to be like men, although of course juxtaposed with the boundless creativity of the layered feminine abstract pieces.
This was a thought-provoking reminder of the masks we all put on because of who we think we are supposed to be, which is essentially an amalgamation of the indoctrination of who our parents wanted us to be, what our teachers said we could never be and what society ultimately applauds. In contrast, however, our truest expression of identity is also divine, containing light and love, none of which needs to attach to any of this. It just IS, and this is often our truest gift which must be shared with the world.
Photos // Chris Yates
Words // Christobelle Batchelor – Fashion Director