Remember the innocence of a childhood holiday? There was no utterance of having a #bikinibod, no obligation to document your holiday via IG pics and acts of communication between friends and family would consist simply by a vacation postcard. With the world seeming oh so different now, we’re nearly longing for those times as much as we long for a summer getaway.

With pandemic measures relaxing by the week, all's not lost in the hopes of a holibobs. But as with everything in this new normal, the act begs a few questions: is it safe to be travelling now? Will it be worth the two week quarantine after? Will I end up having to sunbathe with a mask on? Amidst these ponderings comes the realisation that we’ve been cooped up in one location for too many months; our brains are in need of the stimulation that trying to understand a foreign street sign will give us and we’re craving the experience of cultural differences. So the question remains: to go abroad or not to go abroad?

If these decisions became a little overwhelming, then we’ve got the solution at hand. We’ve done what we do best, and looked into our wardrobes to transport us (in a Narnia-esque fashion) to the destinations we’d rather be, donned head to toe in brands from that country. This week, we’re hero-ing Turkey, for the rich history, exotic food and enchanting architecture, as the next destination we’re wanderlusting/wardrobe-lusting over.

Turkey is a country steeped in history, and yet rapidly evolving; female identities continue to modernise, and this intimate relationship of old and new is reflected in the fashion. This paradoxical attitude is captured in the clothes of Gül Hürgel, a Turkish designer and graduate of Parsons New School of Design. The eponymous label is inspired by the Mediterranean, with linen pieces that capture quintessential summer style. The dresses, jumpsuits and blouses are effortlessly functional for the modern woman, yet with a nod to classical holiday glamour, mirroring Turkey’s fusion of the traditional and contemporary. Our favourites include daytime dresses with 50s-style silhouettes and collars, and evening dresses with 80s-inspired ruffle details, all epitomising Gül Hürgel’s timeless summery style.

In terms of accessories, Mehry Mu handbags retain the same respect for their heritage whilst taking inspiration from the ornamental architecture of their surroundings in Istanbul. Founded by Güneş Mutlu in the secret alleys of the Grand Bazaar, where she first discovered the decadence of ikat fabric, these influences translate directly to her designs. A sumptuous feeling is achieved through plush velvet and decorative Eastern design, whilst the contours of each item mirror the backdrop of domes and palaces that surround her. Known for their signature box designs, choose the mini Linn box bag or the Luna box bag for the illusion of snapping open a portal to the Grand Bazaar itself.

Similarly, Manu Atelier was founded by sisters Beste and Merve Manastir to honour their father’s craftsmanship, who is one of the oldest handicraftsman and leather goods manufacturer in Istanbul. Adnan Manastir began training as a craftsman when he was an 11-year-old boy, and the mastery of his skill is evident in the designs. With humble beginnings in making bags for his daughters in the historical Beyoğlu district of Istanbul, Manu Atelier is now an artisanal and unique brand with integrity in its designs. Our favourites include the Cylinder Ruche bag and the classic Pristine bag.

For jewellery, look no further than TOHUM, founded by devoted traveller Verda Alaton. Inspired by art and nature across the globe, these influences intersect in her designs in the same way that cultures do in the melting-pot that is Istanbul. Alaton draws inspiration from her travels across Africa and Asia, most notably in the shell jewellery that is evocative of tropical lands. Having worked with African art experts in New York, Alaton's designs are bold and fluid, bringing the unexpected together with a sense of balance. Opt for one of TOHUM’s signature shell pieces to experience with the vibrancy of design that Alaton hopes to achieve.

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Tags: picked , travel , fashion