The tale of Margaret Ann Bulkley on Bora Aksu FW 18

The tale of Margaret Ann Bulkley on Bora Aksu FW 18


Bora Aksu’s AW18 collection is inspired by the tale of Margaret Ann Bulkley – a young woman who went against the grain of Georgian society to become one of the most respected surgeons of her time. She championed the cause of proper medical care for the lower classes, and was only able to practice by disguising herself as a man.

And it’s this metamorphosis that’s provided the creative backbone to the designer’s collection, contrasting opulence with simplicity, hard and soft textures, and layered gowns alongside traditional tailoring.

Bulkley’s biological femininity is evident in light pastels of lilas, blues and powder pinks that are enveloped within silk tulles and pleated organzas. This provides a foil to Bulkley’s constructed gender – her male persona – that is largely represented by rich cashmere wools, heavy velvets and flamboyant, boyish looks.

The end result is proof that romance can exist within the bold, and the very notion of a romantic garment needn’t be a delicate one. The traditional nuances of each gender is also visible within embroidered, printed dress, and silhouettes are voluminous and rich – another take on Bulkley’s manipulation of her natural form. Factor in the long tailored cocoon coats, and cropped jackets too, and here’s a functional collection that celebrates and experiments with what we perceive be the female body.