Turkish pavillion at Paris trade show raises eyebrows
Fez hats, raunchy outfits for "Ottoman" models and a lot of moustache...
The Turkish pavillion at the Parisian trade show, Who’s Next, has raised some eyebrows with its orientalism and "neo-Ottoman tones."
The show started in Paris’ Expo Porte de Versailles on July 4 in partnership with Turkey's ITKIB (the Association of Textile Exporters and Clothing, Istanbul) for the Spring/Summer 2015 season to celebrate Turkish design.
The "Turkish Delight" theme can be seen at the exhibition until July 7, which is also applied across the exterior design of the trade show as part of the collaboration. Highlights include an exhibition featuring designers selected by the president of the Turkish designers association, according to the press release.
The style of the "neo-Ottoman" references in the exhibition drew mix reactions on Turkish social media. "I couldn't recognize Turkey," daily Radikal columnist Can Gürses tweeted July 5. "Aren't you tired of associating Turkey with fez, dancers and nargile?" another user, @ciddiyet, tweeted, describing the exhibition as "tedious."
Turkey was chosen as the "honorary guest nation" in recognition of the increase in both exhibitor and visitor numbers from the country, which has increased seven-fold and four-fold respectively, since 2009. Last July saw 41 Turkish designers exhibiting at the event, while 600 visitors to the show hailed from Turkey.
This season more than 50 Turkish brands exhibit at the event, including Vakko, Özlem Süer, Onteks, Ark ?stanbul, 2Wins, Ece Gözen, Maid in Love, Mehry Mu, Mehtap Elaidi and Nej et LTB.