Dilara Fındıkoğlu Fall/Winter 2024: a holy sanctuary of gritty beauty

Dilara Fındıkoğlu Fall/Winter 2024: a holy sanctuary of gritty beauty

by Juliette Eleuterio
4 min

The queen of the grotesque Dilara Fındıkoğlu took us to the St Luke Old Street Anglican church for her Fall/Winter 2024 collection, a ritualistic display of twisted feminine beauty mixed with tragedy, in a collection titled “Femme Vortex.”

Closing off day three, guests were ushered into the church’s front yard to wait for the tall wooden doors’ to open, greeted with one of Dilara’s model pouting and posing on a bench, dressed in a black corseted dress, giving us a teaser of what’s to come.

Upon entering the chilling church, pointed arches and imposing stone pillars welcomed visitors into the unlit space, where camera flashes and hand-held torches were our only source of light. Whispers of Dilara stitching together the last remainder of pieces just minutes before the show started travelled throughout the church, confession-style, with the runway show started of course fashionably late.

Friend of the brand and general style icon, Hari Nef opened the show in a look entitled “Female Territory” – a sheer-cupped white corset top matched with a button-up white shirt and blazer wrapped around the lower half of her body and tied together with a large safety pin, while a lace-up white choker around wrapped around her neck and an eyelet-style belt was placed in a bow shape around her head. A woman on the move, Dilara captured femininity to a T just with this first look, as objects such as a watch, pen, and lighter were placed in the bra cups, a quintessential womanly-tendency thanks to womenswear’s lack of pockets.

It wasn’t the drop-dead gorgeous looks nor the fact that it was Hari Nef that captivated the crowd from the get-go – at least not entirely. Nef turned up the theatrics, taking her time down the church’s aisle, letting go of the usual fashion show fast walk. As models came and went, we saw them walking in a distorted contortion only a haunted old doll could pull off. Everyone’s mind went straight to the recent Maison Margiela Artisanal show that took place during Couture Week, and with reason. The common denominator between the two was Pat Boguslawski, the movement director who brings mystical sensuality to the runway.

In her show notes, the Turkish-British designer explains “This is a manifesto for a world order born of an unrelenting vortex of femme energy; a way of being and feeling that transcends the parochial strictures of conventional masculinity.” Dilara’s revolution had to start in a monumental place such as a church, a place of worship for the masculine subject, God, and a place that has historically informed our society and its values.

The new-world order is being re-written with latex bondage, bloomers and sheer skirts. That’s not to say men aren’t part of this new world, as a cinched two-piece suit with its white collar flipped upwards would prove. It’s more about ditching the idea of genders altogether, and focusing on energies instead, and for Dilara, feminine energy is the one she wants to summon.

Once again, Dilara has managed to create a stunning collection within a fictional world that is a reflection of our own, or rather, a reflection of what our own fails and lacks in. Even down to the details, Dilara has picture-perfected them; one model is seen holding a newspaper that reads “OMG Dilara is doing a satanic orgy at a London Church,” another wears a leather top made up of two stiletto heels laced up together, and still another stuffed her corset top with hair accessories and a vintage-style pocket mirror.

Dilara’s beauty is other-worldly, giving her wearers a new look that merges femininity with a gritty and grotesque quality that we haven’t seen since the Lee McQueen days. Earlier this week, the newly-appointed Creative Director Seán McGirr showed off his new vision for the Alexander McQueen brand that rehashed an old logo drawn up by Lee himself, but still left fans questioning his position. If McGirr announced his vision for the new era of McQueen, Dilara conjured up Lee’s spirit, honouring his legacy and making his impact ever-so evident through a feathered dress that was reminiscent of the VOSS SS01 show and a bumster-style skirt worn by Richie Shazam. What Dilara would look like at the House of McQueen is something we’ll still have to use our imagination for.

The collection ended with two gowns – the typically considered bridal look coming in before last while the black gown titled “Waking of the Witch” served as the finale. Once again, Dilara flipped the script on its head, getting rid of old notions set in place through the patriarchal eye.

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