JFW 2012 Day 4: The Understated Grace of Issever Bahri

If we ask you to name three Berlin fashion designers, can you? Probably not immediately. But if you start digging on them, you’ll soon realize that it’s a shame, really, to not be familiar with them.  Berlin fashion designers may not have the same name recognition nor exposure as other European fashion capitals’ designers, nonetheless, they bring some of the greatest trends to the industry today.

So after gawking at Berlin Fashion Week’s images, we decided that we need to see the collections in person. But how?

Fortunately, though we couldn’t come to Berlin, Berlin designers came to us.

This year, JFW and Goethe Institute work together to bring some of the best rising Berlin designers to Jakarta Fashion Week. Be ready for some Deutschland Invasion as we’re going to share with you collections from five Berlin designers that reigned the runways all day on Tuesday at JFW.


First-up is the duo Derya Issever and Cimen Bachri, who formed the label ISSEVER BAHRI.

The girls met while studying fashion in Berlin’s University of Applied Sciences. Both being daughters of immigrants (Derya’s from Greece, Cimen’s from Turkey), they immediately found something in common and soon became close.

Not only did their cultural roots help them form partnership and lifetime friendship, it also gives flavor to their design. Issever Bahri combines the German design approach with handcrafted techniques from Greece and Turkey.

For Spring/Summer 2012, Issever Bahri’s overall style is consistent with their previous collections—ensembles for hard-working, city women, which translates to loose, easy, non-restricting outfits.

However, for this collection, Turkey’s also an inspiration. So they take the needlework craftsmanship seen on traditional Turkish headscarves in the Ottoman Empire, and place it on their pieces.

Of course, you can’t miss Issever Bahri’s signature crochets. They’re actually thin strips of crocheted leather (knitted leather! Wow!), which was inspired by Cimen Bachri’s mother’s crochet works. They even recruited Mom to help out with the crochet hook to produce the garments.

The crochets are applied to bags and waist details, which give volume to the loose ensemble.

Issever Bahri is not at all about being loud, but rather being understated, highly wearable designs with great quality. What I love about them is they don’t feel the need to be “out-of-the-box” to grab attention. In fact, we’re so used to see garish translations of inspirations, I didn’t expect that Issever Bachri’s ‘Turkish’ inspiration would be that subtle. It really is.

All in all, if you’re looking for sophisticated looks for professional women, you cannot not keep an eye on Issever Bahri. If they keep up, we’ll definitely be seeing many more from this duo in the future.

Visit www.isseverbahri.com