Weird R Us: Maid in Love, DB Berdan, ILOVECHOC & Alex S. Yu

[Part of Vancouver-Istanbul fashion sister cities coverage]

 I could just declare it “not my cup of tea” and rightfully get told to go fuck myself. This style, genre, phenomenon, THIS is a creative force to reckon with! Dystopian couture? Blend sci-fi, pop art, zombie worship, (anti)capitalist sentiment, anime-manga-hentai feel-to-it, mass media iconography, hipster irony, then season this psychedelic mix with 3D effects and voilà … It makes sense that as humanity continues its cyborg-ization by synchronizing various biotechnologies, fashion follows suit and gravitates towards synthetics in its aesthetic and material output. Both Vancouver & Istanbul fashion weeks, as transcontinental intercultural pulse checkers, featured bright, brazen, bizarre fall-winter collections from young booming brands catering to the global dis/enchanted. Weird R Us!

Since its launch in 2011, Maid in Love by designer Hande Çokrak has won a few fashion prizes and secured retail partnerships with the likes of Galeries Lafayette outpost in Beijing. Dedicated to “seeing the beauty in the odd” it went ballistic-intergalactic with its double-headed space pets and even cosmic vagina dentata (huh 🙂 ?!) … Facebook/Istanbul

Alex S. Yu sources inspiration in childhood nostalgia and teenage angst. Carefree/careless collage of capricious dreamscapes where the existential battle for identity-in-crisis comes down to negotiating with “an extra scoop of double chocolate ice cream.” Take it or leave it, snap-chat discourse it into virtual oblivion, but this IS the postmodern (sub)urban struggle. Props for the queen-of-skate-park styling: fighting ennui does not have to look boring! … Instagram/Vancouver

DB Berdan is run by the mother and daughter design duo (!) Deniz & Begum Berdan who channel their own pursuit-of-dreams experiences into cosplay collections “with a dash of surrealism!” Their arena-sized music sensibilities translated into costumes for Katy Perry in her PepsiCo campaign. So much for creative resistance to mass-market forces! But then again, no one was waving no activist banners here. Tongue-in-cheek as a form of honest. Just press play … Instagram/Istanbul

ILOVECHOC positions itself as the first street-savvy youth brand in China. Since 2009, their fan base grew to support over 200 stores in the homeland alone. In this collection, the ubiquitous almighty dollar sign creates a contextual sense-warp through which all else inescapably filters: styles, points of view, legacies, fantasies. The line between critique and endorsement is price tag thin. This is serious fashion! Says Pinocchio … Website/Vancouver

P.S. I’d like to call-out ridiculously gratuitous use of fur in some of these looks. I mean, derriere cushioning?! Skirt hemline trim?! My one and only hope is that all this neon-hued madness is faux fur.

For more about these designers, visit Vancouver Fashion Week and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Istanbul.

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