Sir John Soane’s Museum in London’s Holborn is a 19th century townhouse previously belonging to the neo-classical architect John Soane. Filled with a treasure trove of detailed architectural drawings, gilded antiquities and paintings, the building is kept as it was at the time of Soane’s death nearly 180 years ago. Apt then, that the space played host to Dilara Findikoglu - a designer often affiliated with decadent craft, detailed embellishment and traditional shapes.
Amongst the mahogany bookcases, rich tapestries and classically painted ceilings of Sloane’s dining room, a handful of models stood clad in an assaulting collection of incredibly detailed and ornate pieces. Eyes were immediately drawn to a trio, the 'Orion Sisters' who looked as if to be aliens practising a Pagan ritual. One wore a silver dress with puff ball cuffs and an almost Tudor-like chest decoration, another a high neck shift dress in optical illusion print with satanic symbols embroidered upon the front, and the third, a silver jumpsuit, complete with clear PVC outer cover and ruffle detailing - all three had striking hair horns of varying heights and painted green faces.
After spotting the alien trio, the symbols and inexplicit nods to extra-terrestrial life started to unravel. Peppered amongst Soane’s cornucopia stood large felted plants with singular eyes where one would expect a flower. More alien-like eyes sprouted from models’ heads in wire crowns and eerie bonnet-like ruffled masks hid any recognisable human features.
Two characters dubbed 'The Agarthans' were dressed in hooped metal crowns, velveteen longline coats with embroidered medieval scenes and ornamental Lamé coats with teal fur trim - these were the most regal of looks. Rumoured to house a new species of alien, 'Agartha' (where this duo supposedly hail from) is a legendary subterranean realm within the Earth’s core. Findikoglu’s A/W 17 collection title 'New World Order' seems to resonate now.
Do we need a 'New World Order'? Have things become so bad on the Earth’s surface? Is 'Agartha' the only place Trump can’t touch? Findikoglu seems to think so.
To those that challenge this collection's wearability, I say look to the red PVC trousers, the tartan prints and the flame trimmed silk set. A feast for the eyes, this was an exciting collection of colour, texture, print and detail - a testament to Findikoglu’s accomplished skill-set.