Style & Grooming

Dilara Findikoglu Debuts Theatrical, Inclusive Bridal Collection

The designer shows us bridal wear like we’ve never seen it – here, she talks us through her designs and what she’s hoping to communicate with them

Turkish-born designer Dilara Findikoglu, or, as we like to call her, the Sorceress of British Design, has just debuted a new collection. A bridal collection. Presented in a lookbook shot by Casper Sejersen and styled by Another Man’s Fashion Director Ellie Grace Cumming, the collection, says the designer, “explores all the ways in which we love one another and those who have rebelled against conventions and rules.”

Findikoglu, whose occultic designs have traditionally taken inspiration from Islamic mythology and Italian horror movies, is not someone you’d immediately associate with bridal wear. “I avoid looking at bridal wear, unless it comes up on my Instagram,” she admits. “It always looks dated, tacky and generic. However I was thinking about weddings as a ritual and how this fits in with what I do at my brand. As my collections are inspired by witchcraft and ceremony, I felt like it was my duty to look at the magical ritual of a wedding.”

As well as citing a desire to question the meaning of love and “challenge the way in which society views marriage and sexuality”, Findikoglu says she saw this collection as an opportunity to create clothes that weren’t necessarily “sellable” or commercially minded. Dark, glamourous and more than just a bit sensual, these pieces are rendered in a palette of black, ivory, pink and red; crafted from silk and organza, and executed with an almost couture-like finesse.

As for her inspirations, the designer said she was drawing on a range of material, from the costumes in the 1917 version of Cleopatra, to Virginia Woolf’s book Orlando and Sofia Coppola’s film Marie Antoinette, as well as the work of French photographer Claude Cahun and Victorian mourning attire.

As with much of Findikoglu’s work though, there’s a deeper message buried within the stitching of these clothes – something that was indicated by her messaging about the collection on Instagram. “‘As long as his wig wasn’t flat and his complexion not sunburn, he feared no battle.’ For all men who have challenged the way in which society views marriage and sexuality,” she wrote. This, she explains, is a quote from Philippe, Duke of Orléans who was the brother of King Louis XIV. He was openly gay and flamboyant, but also known for being a fierce fighter in battle.

“I feel that the way Philippe rebelled against the social conventions of his time is very relevant to how people today are trying to fight against the oppression of the LGBTQ community,” she says. “I always try to use my voice to point out social issues through my clothes and this time I wanted to send a message that LGBTQ couples deserve to celebrate their love openly and that we should break free from the norms that society presents to all of us.”

This collection is brought to life in a film titled Die For Love which was created in a collaboration between Findikoglu and NOWNESS’s creative director Bunney Kinney. Watch it below.