Melis AlphanISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Dilek Hanif, the first Turkish designer to be included on the Paris haute couture calendar, transmits a new sense of contemporary luxury, inspired by the history of this land
Jacques Picart of Le Figaro describes Turkish designer Dilek Hanif as “a unique designer who has achieved great acclaim in presenting a universal couture collection that embraces and projects the cultural aspects of Turkey and the Turkish people.”
A major player on the Turkish fashion scene, Hanif today sets an example for modern Turkish women through her entrepreneurship, talent, energy and the way she expresses her country’s creativity and style. She grew up in a family synonymous with fashion, but she herself set up her own designer brand, the Dilek Hanif line, in 1990 – a brand that encompasses both haute-couture pieces and ready-to-wear collections.
She stands out in the crowd with her signature designs, bringing the Turkish and Ottoman cultures together in a successful union of East and West.
After her first fashion show in 2002 at Saint Irene Church, Avon’s “Most successful female designer” and Oriflame’s “Most successful woman of the year” awards followed. In 2004, Hanif became the first Turkish designer to be included on the Paris
haute couture calendar.
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Hanif mostly takes inspiration from her own culture: Traces of Ottoman and Turkish influence are obvious in her collections. She seamlessly carries this inspiration to contemporary gowns. The subtleness of her collections can be attributed to the exquisite details: the rich color palette she uses, from turquoise to coral and gold to ochre, and of course the signature needlework which can be described as intricate embroidery. The designer also likes to play with textiles to create a blend, which adds another layer of sophistication and complexity to her designs.
From flowing silks to structured kaftans, Hanif gracefully blends Ottoman influence with a Turkish touch. Staying true to her roots, she creates a mixture of Orient and Occident and adds her style as a cherry on top. In her designs, she transmits a new sense of contemporary luxury. Her seductive and sophisticated style is highly coveted by prominent figures in Turkey, including First Lady Hayrünnisa Gül.
Since Hanif founded her brand in the 90s, she has grown to be a major player in the Turkish fashion scene, earning the respect and attention of numerous international celebrities, including Jane Fonda (most recently at the 2012 Oscars), Sophia Bush, Kelly Brook, Florence Welch and many more.
The designer plans to broaden her international horizons and convey her unique vision of the creative spirit of Istanbul to millions through fashion. Her “ready-to-wear haute couture” garments target women who prefer high-quality products with original designs yet with traditional details, and who want to stand out in a crowd. For her fall/winter couture collection, Hanif took inspiration from the height of the glorious ages of the Ottoman Empire
and the Italian Renaissance. Her philosophy and mantra based on respect breathes a harmonious elegance that surpasses trends. To weave her story of beauty and aesthetic perfection, a depth of richness is attained with noble fabrics such as silk velvet and brocade, chiffon and lace all embellished with luscious embroidery. Feather details add a lightness and glamour to the gowns. Exotic and sharply modern at the same time, her structured volumes contrast with sensual swirls and arabesques. Her color palette of deep crimson, vivid violet and gold is offset by a dominant black undercurrent.