• Text Lakeisha Goedluck
  • Photography Tomas Turpie
  • 20th February 2018


“Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at” – this is the concept of the male gaze, summarised by John Berger in his seminal text on gender theory, Ways of Seeing. For FW18, Dilara Findikoglu set out to sartorially create the antithesis of this – focused on the female gaze.

Cue Dilaratopia: a female utopia where “Our hypnotic sisters will command your gaze” – so read the show notes. Here was a collection all about championing femininity and negating any patriarchal influence, visually, the vibe of her designs sat somewhere between The Craft and Eyes Wide Shut, at once sexual but also sinister.

Experimenting with ideas surrounding the occult, Findikoglu’s models looked like modern-day deities with their high arched eyebrows, exaggerated lips and sculptural braided hair. In regard to the looks, deconstructed Victorian-style dresses, abstract pinstripe suits and zodiac-embellished velvet blazers made for a thrilling, theatrical collection. To the apt narrative of the late (and oh so great) Alan Vega’s Wipeout Beat (Now on this magic ride/We go by the stars/To the furthest galaxies), Dilara’s heroine sisters ruled supreme.