DB Berdan SS19 London Fashion Week

Reactive fashion can be risky, but in today’s turbulent times, it pays off to be socially conscious. Just a month ago, Boris Johnson remarked that he thought women wearing burkas ‘looked like bank robbers’, and in incredible time, Turkish fashion brand DB Berdan turned around a politically charged collection sporting the slogan ‘THIS IS NOT A BANK ROBBERY.’

The label, spearheaded by Deniz and Begum Berdan, has always been switched on to protest. A proud advocate for LGBTQ+ rights, previous projects have protested against civil unrest in Turkey by celebrating Pride despite Istanbul’s ban on the event. This season, ‘Queer God/Goddess’ was the collection’s name, fearlessly displaying pride in queer culture through plastering this slogan on unmissable facial tattoos and beautiful beaded amulets. The inspiration for this motif came from Murat Palta’s painting ‘Gods, Monsters and Men’ which depicts the intersex idol Umay Ana, god of war and goddess of love. The looks themselves were rebellious and tough, striking against a backdrop of activist fashion film. With flashes of neon (the undeniable trend of the season at this year’s Fashion Scout) and references to 90’s streetwear - with a Reebok Classic collaboration thrown in - this collection made a bold statement whilst still remaining wearable and desirable for the modern shopper.

Each model wore a singular earring creatively depicting the Turkish flag, as well as intricate braids chaotically accessorised with winding wires and metal clips, as styled by LOVE magazine’s Kay Altamira. Subtle twists were introduced to trend-led classics, like t-shirt dresses with triple collars and skirts with double belted waists. Begum Berdan is leading this brand into a future full of individuality with a dash of surrealism. It used to be an optional extra for the arts to comment on global politics, but over the past few years, pressure is building for designers to take a stand, and to use their platform to make the right voices heard. DB Berdan is leading the way.

By Ruth MacGilp. Images shot for us by Hannah Gordon-Smith.