Dilara Fındıkoğlu plays with your emotions like no other designer in London right now: she pulls on your heartstrings, makes you feel her pain, and conjures an intensity that makes you feel what she’s portraying in front of you. For autumn-winter 2023, the designer took her guests to a chapel in East London to display her latest collection, and it was a divine experience. While so much of the “Not A Man’s Territory” collection explored sexual tensions (and a pain related to this), there was also Fındıkoğlu’s usual amount of fetishization on display. Latex tights clashed with leather bursting at the seams, tightened together with clips and metal fastenings that intended to make us feel awkward. Likewise, models dropping their demure coverings revealed boned corsets and lingerie dripping in crystals, subverting opulence with the idea of something voyeuristic. Fındıkoğlu’s collections are impossible to not become fixated upon. Models stare into the eyes of the crowd, the heels hit the stone with a sharp sensuality, and performances of others clinging to walls or having a moment to themselves once again draw you in, but in a way that implies we shouldn’t be looking. This is Fındıkoğlu’s power, expressed through looks that also give her power. The most exceptional was the eveningwear. A dress made from black feathers à la Black Swan was powerful. A black satin gown covered in butter knives that curved around the breast and sculpted the hips alluded to finding one’s strength, as if the dress was Fındıkoğlu’s shield. Bravo.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
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