In the strange and wonderful world of Turkish-born designer Dilara Findikoglu, anything goes. In September 2016, Findikoglu whisked us away to the darkened basement of a Soho strip club, where a model could be seen wearing checkerboard pants with an intricately beaded female reproductive system on the crotch. Fantastical flares with red flames competed for attention with a Marilyn Manson t-shirt reimagined to feature conical breasts at the AW17 follow-up.
Despite her recent success (she designed a custom suit for Lady Gaga and official merch for Marilyn Manson), Findikoglu's path to fashion was not easy. First, she had to persuade her traditional parents to let her, their rebellious daughter, leave Turkey to attend Central Saint Martins in London. Then, just as she was about to graduate, her collection was passed over for the university's final fashion show. As a result, she staged a guerrilla presentation on the sidewalk instead.
Findikoglu's clothes incorporate an obsession with punk and heavy metal with fashion history and feminist politics, mixing subcultural references from her teenage years with ideas about how women have been treated in different societies, with vintage-inspired tailoring and the colors red and pink central to her work. She was named to the LVMH Prize shortlist in February, making her one of the most exciting emerging designers working today.