Set in a seedy strip club in a touristy part of town, the Turkish designer Dilara Findikoglu took us down to the basement where her models shone under red lightning leaning on poles and provoking the viewer with their gaze. No trace of sunlight made it down here, where night and day melted into one.
Their movements through and from the moody mirrored private rooms and main stage were not unlike how we would imagine the movements of the strippers, who usually occupied the space. The distinct difference was that these women were in control, apparent in the glam-rock attitude of the leather patches depicting classic tattoo illustrations of guns, blood and knives that seemed almost as though they had been cut from skin.
Deconstruction also lended itself to this theme of a woman breaking her constraints, visible in the burst shoulders seams and frayed edges. A personal favourite was the Chanel-esque suit which boasted large tatty holes framing drawn muscles, bones and vital organs.
Her roots played an important role in the SS17 collection. The gold coins pinned to the clothing and red ribbons as brashly tied chokers and embroidery on a transparent top are both elements of a traditional Turkish wedding. The music and evil eye emblems also spoke of her heritage.
The viewer was separated from this spectacle by a row of thick white candles circling the stage, giving an almost cult-like connotation, as if we were worshipping at Dilara’s very own altar where female empowerment is law.
Words by Ottilie Landmark
Photography: Eva Al Desnudo, courtesy of Highsnobiety.com