Femme Vortex

Dilara Fındıkoğlu conjured an ethereal post-masculine world
By Barry Pierce | Fashion | 19 February 2024

“OMG Dilara is doing a satanic orgy at a London church!” was the headline on one of the newspapers held by a model during the Dilara Fındıkoğlu show at Mark Street Gardens in Shoreditch. Having skipped last season, which left a palpable absence on the London schedule, Dilara’s FW24 show needed to be a grand return. And that’s exactly what it was.

The show notes spoke of an end to the “world built by the hands of men” and of “essential infrastructures [that] vindicate heteropatriarchal desires.” Therefore the show, which was titled Femme Vortex, portrayed a world after masculinity, where “notions of borders, gender roles and time” were unpicked and interrogated and the divine feminine was at its centre.

Each look was a character in itself. The first look, which was modelled by Hari Nef, was called Female Territory and was made up of a studded belt wrapped around her head, a corset around her neck, a sheer corseted vest that had a watch and an old phone in the bust, a pinstripe skirt held together with safety pins and a face of sickly white make-up. We are beyond the concept of pieces here. These are whole concepts, shocked into life and made flesh on the runway.

As is always the case with Dilara, her humour was to the fore. Look #21 was titled Hooligan Armour and featured a Dilara-branded football jersey with a Gaultier-esque conical bust attached. Look #19, Breaking the Law, was a pair of knee-high leather stilettos that were laced to each other and made into a top. Look #11 looked like a Simone Rocha girl had gone wayward in life and ended up at a Norwegian church burning.

Watching the show, it was almost impossible to not be reminded of the recent Margiela artisanal show. The links weren’t coincidental. Pat Boguslawski, the movement director behind Margiela’s now-trademark exaggerated runway walks was also the movement director for this show and he had the Dilara models jittering and jumping through the church, as if they were trying to jump out of their own skin.

If the show had one message it was that Dilara remains a force to be reckoned with on the London schedule. She is creating shows and concepts that could easily rival the brands that have millions to throw at these things.

GALLERYCatwalk images from Dilara Findikoglu WOMENS-FALL-WINTER-24