Wonderland.

PELIN ISILDAK × BORA DAYANIKLI

LCF designer Pelin Isildak and Bora Dayanikli team up with Wanda Martin for a freaky SS16 fashion film.

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Graduate collections are tricky. We’re all about new talent but bright young things have a tendency to play all their cards at once. When we saw Wanda Martin’s  fashion film featuring the work of Pelin Isildak, we were surprised to find Pelin was a fresh young grad from LCF. Pelin inspects the higher powers that govern us all, questioning our hierarchal society through uniforms. Through Wanda’s video, the pair outline how we shape our identities to try and fit into the form. Having studied in Istanbul previously, Pelin will show her AW16 collection “roots 23:23” at upcoming LFW.

Soundtracking the clip is Bora Dayanikli, aka musician Electric Bliss, with raging white noise that stutters to glitchy, downbeat halts. Perfectly fitting with Wanda’s analogue cuts and feedback screens. To find out more about their collaborative work, we got Pelin and Bora together to talk about the film, which was easier than expected. “Since we live together and are a couple,” they explained, “we’ve decided to put up a voice recorder and talk about the work.”

Directed by Wanda Martin

Pelin: I’ve always been fascinated by music theory and have used it in my work. As I’d admired your music and stories, having known you, I believed this was a great opportunity to collaborate on creating a film where you could create an original soundtrack to have your perspective of the story of the garment. After Wanda and I became friends during our MA studies at London College of Fashion, I became found of her work and her approach to photography. When we realized that we were both influenced by and curious about the norm of identity in our works, it made sense to collaborate as the three of us. What did you think of when deciding on how to make the soundtrack for this story?

Bora: Having seen your sketchbooks and mood-boards, I’d had the idea to put the concept and the protagonist’s story as clear and as present as possible in the soundtrack’s setting. To be able to do that I felt that it had to represent your protagonist’s mindset which led me to the selection of instruments and the sounds they’d produce. For the composition, a three act structure was fitting  even though her thoughts lacked any strict beginning or an end. This allowed me to experiment with the idea of a linear story arc but convinced me that the whole would have a non-linear vibe, it became a subjective interpretation of the absence of hierarchy which I believe was your collection’s concept.

P: I’d say the work really matched with what your vision for the music was and how you decided to do the voice-over. This absence of hierarchy where there’s no sense of order is in John Cage’s Indeterminacy which was part of my research for the collection. He called it the uncertain process which personally meant that you couldn’t be sure of anything at given time, that the possible realities were limitless. I was and still am fond of the idea of uniform, whether it be a daily one or a needed one. I’d been focusing on how to put this notion of indeterminacy in the work itself while aiming to identify a persona wearing a uniform. I personally believe there’s no determinate state of the hierarchy of things anymore in contemporary life.

B: I think you’re right, the importance and the value of things are constantly shifting at any given time in one’s mind, even in music and the creative processes. We as human beings are daily exposed to a constant flux of information as we try to figure out who we are, what we do and where we stand. It’s tough to pick a side or truly decide on anything anymore. Was the black structure that we used on the nature shots related to this?

P: During the research process prior to the making of the garment, I came across the “Black Square” that had been interpreted by many over time.  I thought it could be the reinterpretation of a uniform in a different sense. The collection evolved around this form, the black square represented a void and also the sense of belonging, as the solid form.

B: The black square could also represent humans against nature, for instance in the park where we’d shot.

P: Yes, putting a black background against nature was something we’d come up with Wanda. Wanda has this pre-Raphaelite aesthetic and the work I’ve seen her do involves natural light, I have this approach to Bauhaus architecture with the pieces and the process. We used this opposition in the work, a solid object against nature, to truly collaborate.

B: Because of this, I believe the pictures and the music needed a sense of not being apparent at times, as Wanda was editing and I was working on the soundtrack next to you guys, it seemed that we were in that black square or outside of it.

P: Totally, we tried to divide her feelings, her personality into different spaces, one indoors and one outdoors. The indoors part was similar to being inside that black square, the garment emerging and disappearing from the blackness. This was to show the conscious choice of visibility and invisibility in public while wearing it. In the black void, we could only see her face in the blackness.

B: When she is in there, she seeks calmness and serenity, wherein the soundtrack the excess vanishes and she’s left alone with her thoughts, but still the outside is leaking in, and when we’re outside out the square that’s when the over-thinking and the chaos begins. The noise and the brutal guitars kick in in the soundtrack like this mass explosion of information devouring the silence, everything is always going around you, all the time, your own thoughts are racing against other thoughts.

PELIN ISILDAK × BORA DAYANIKLI

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