Fashion as Manifesto: Uniforms Designed for Imaginary Space Station

Merve Parla 14 March 2024 min Read

Using art to manifest one’s feelings and ideas has always been common among artists and designers. Fashion designer Dilara Fındıkoğlu (commonly anglicized as Dilara Findikoglu) is no exception. For Odunpazarı Modern Museum, Fındıkoğlu designed a set of uniforms to manifest her empowering ideas. She dreamed of a “Turkish Space Station” and its crew to execute these ideas. The envisioned crew members were to wear uniforms that drew inspiration from the matriarchal culture of Anatolia, one of Dilara Findikoglu’s primary sources of inspiration.

Odunpazarı Modern Museum, Turkey.
Odunpazarı Modern Museum, Eskişehir, Turkey.

Odunpazarı Modern Museum

Odunpazarı Modern Museum (aka OMM) in Eskişehir, Turkey, opened its doors to visitors in September 2019. Designed by the Japanese Kengo Kuma and Associates, the modern wooden building is created in harmony with the quaint old town in which it is situated.

The museum hosts artists working in sculpture, installation, and new media in its permanent collection, along with paintings. One of OMM’s missions is to support young artists and designers and grow stronger together. In keeping with this principle, the museum reached out to the London-based designer Dilara Findikoglu for a collaboration.

Dilara Fındıkoğlu.
Dilara Findikoglu, photoshoot for Vogue Turkey.

Dilara Fındıkoğlu

Dilara Findikoglu was born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey. She then moved to London, UK, to study fashion design at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. Fındıkoğlu’s free soul very openly manifested itself when she was about to graduate. Her designs were not selected for the graduation show collection at her college. Submitting this decision, however, was not an option for the young designer.

She first contacted other students whose designs were not picked. With their help, Fındıkoğlu organized an alternative fashion show for the excluded designs. Consequently, this rebellious act received much attention from the press and designers. This event was not the last time that Fındıkoğlu rebelled against authority and revealed her ideas freely, though.

When it comes to her taste in design, Findikoglu has a very distinctive gothic-romantic style. She complements this with her obsession with red and black. Madonna, Bella Hadid, and Rihanna are among the celebrities who have worn Findikoglu’s designs.

Dilara Fındıkoğlu, Space Uniform projects
Dilara Findikoglu, Space Uniform projects, 2019. Odunpazarı Modern Museum.

The Collaboration

Findikoglu gladly accepted OMM’s proposal for a collaboration. Her concept was to create uniforms for “an imaginary Turkish Space Station that would settle on a new planet in the future.” For this, the designer infused her artistic vision with her interest in Anatolian mythology. The idea was to go against the patriarchal representations that prevail worldwide. To achieve this, Findikoglu created uniforms with the faces/shapes of female Anatolian figures, such as Kybele and Medusa.

All representations in this imaginary space station are female, and matriarchs hold the prevailing power. Therefore, by fusing mythology, feminism, and culture, Findikoglu acknowledges matriarchy as the source of power, intelligence, and inspiration.

Dilara Fındıkoğlu, Space Uniform project with Medusa's head on the back of the jacket
Dilara Findikoglu, Space Uniform project with Medusa’s head on the back of the jacket, 2019. Odunpazarı Modern Museum.

During the photo shoot, the uniforms were modeled by local people in a high school close to OMM. Meanwhile, the whole collection Fındıkoğlu designed has been integrated into the museum. Also, volunteers and interns working at the museum wear t-shirt and sweatshirt designs inspired by the collection.

As a result, the fantastic artist-museum collaboration continues to live in the small town of Odunpazarı, Turkey. It is a fascinating reminder of inspiration, creativity, culture, and the good old matriarchy.

Get your daily dose of art

Click and follow us on Google News to stay updated all the time


Rococo fans. Bacchus and Ariadne, c. 1760, Fan Museum, Greenwich, UK. Fashion

Rococo Fans: Craft, Art, and Hidden Messages

Before air conditioning, women relied on fans to keep themselves fresh during the summer. The accessory became so popular during the 18th century...

Jimena Escoto 10 August 2023

Horst P. Horst, Alix Dress, Fashion, Lud with Columns, 1938, Robert Klein Gallery, Boston, MA, USA. Photograph by Horst P. Horst via SCAD FASH. Fashion

Unraveling the Mastery of Madame Grès: The Art of Draping Exhibition in Atlanta

Madame Grès, The Art of Draping is a fashion exhibition held by SCAD FASH (Savannah College of Art and Design) Museum of Fashion + Film in Atlanta,...

Errika Gerakiti 9 March 2023

Balenciaga SS2022. Fashion

Royal Fashion: From Palace to Runway

Social status has always been signaled through fashion. The monarchs knew their garments needed to stand out in order to distinguish themselves from...

Errika Gerakiti 23 February 2023


Fashion Icons in Art

Art and fashion are often intertwined, and isn’t fashion a form of art after all? Not only can visual arts represent the fashion icons that marked...

Vithória Konzen Dill 30 November 2023