In the early 1970’s, a movement was wriggling around in the United Kingdom. Strutting onto the scene in platform boots, and bellbottoms came Glam Rock. Just a little south-east, at the end of that very same decade, Turkey was developing their first feminist movement. Fast forward to Sunday, four decades later, Turkish designer Hakan Akkaya is paying homage to the glam rock movement for New York Fashion Week 2019. Featuring a fairly androgynous line, his plunging necklines, sparkles, and bellbottoms showed no discrimination between genders in his show aptly titled Glam Rock. Even for the time, the movement was seen as a bit of a freak show featuring genderless outfits worn by champions of strange such as David Bowie, Elton John, and Gary Glitter Queen. Hailing from a country where gender roles are relatively solid, but living in an era where stereotypically female fashions such as dresses and nail polish are becoming more non-binary, Hakan Akkaya’s show was timely and electrifying.
Like many of his previous shows, Akkaya displayed a prominent color theme. This year it was black and silver. Although it might appear as though he pulled these colors back out of the closet from his 2016 New York Fashion Week show, make no mistake; they had a fresh sparkle to them. This time around his usage of the colors was more avant-garde, adding to the mystery of a collection inspired by the past.
Akkaya did accentuate his theme by broadening the palette to sparingly sprinkle baby blue and gold into a few select pieces. Additionally, many of the models wore spiked mullet wigs in bright colors. One of the pieces that stood out most was an oversized zip up jacket. With high pointed shoulders and a tapered bottom and cuffs it was the twisted sister of the bomber jacket. Comprised of large triangular patches of blue, gold, and a black and white cheetah print swaths and paired with thigh high boots of the same cheetah material, it left quite the impression on attendees. Another exciting piece was the dress fashioned after a lightning bolt. Sleek, black, and worn with fur draped around the model’s arms, it was very rock n roll. Studded spikes recurred throughout the show as well. Many of the pieces were accented with them, and some were found on the models faces under their eyes. Akkaya himself soared through the runway in a jacket covered with spikes at the end of the show.
In 2016, Akkaya showed us he was not afraid to flirt with the taboo by titling and theming his show after the book and movie 120 Days of Sodom. Banned in some countries for its controversial subject matter, his show followed suit with elegant fabrics and suggestive outfits. The eroticism of the outfits was dialed back, but the sensuality continued with Glam Rock. Using sex toys as accessories aside, the sexiness of Glam Rock differed from 120 Days of Sodom because it was rather androgynous. Neither sexy for a woman nor for a man, Glam Rock’s outfits were simply sexy. They are provocative because of the cuts of fabric themselves and how they lay. Perhaps it is because there a bit of rock and roll energy left over from the greats that came by to infuse the line. Or maybe it is because, according to Hakkan, self-confidence is the best outfit.
Glam rock paved the way for some of our favorite outfits worn by popstars like Michael Jackson, we can only imagine what Hakan Akkaya’s Glam Rock collection is paving the way for in his future shows.
Review by: Grace Klaus
Photos by: Elvia Gobbo