- Text Jake Hall
- Photography Emily Malan
- 15th September 2019
The last few days have seen climate change protestors disrupt London Fashion Week, so it’s fitting that Dilara Findikoglu invited guests into her SS20 lair for a mass ritual to raise awareness of the climate crisis. In a characteristically shamanic venue, decorated with talismanic objects and painted, blood-red peace signs, she showed a collection themed around the four elements: Earth, Air, Fire and Water.
A narrative began to emerge, first of humankind’s destruction of nature, then of nature’s retaliation, and finally of ongoing attempts to find serenity, a solution. Findikoglu was also refreshingly honest about her own desire to work more sustainably, and the attempts she’s made so far: most of the looks were crafted from up-cycled fabrics, or ‘deadstock’ destined either for landfill or incineration.
Aesthetically, the collection was suitably mystical. Satin bandeaus became crimson crucifixes; models’ eyes glimmered underneath black lace veils; wide-brim hats with carefully-distressed edges became nods to witchcraft. Intricate corsets were teamed with bold red, cut-out suits, whereas crinoline-like skirts were draped in red mesh and belted tightly at the waist – all paired with footwear by Roker.
One of the most common critiques of ‘sustainable fashion’ is its over-reliance on basics. By teaming this new-found emphasis on sustainability with her immersive, extravagant aesthetic, Findigoklu offers hope that protecting the planet doesn’t require the sacrifice of beauty.