Once accused of hosting a "satanist orgy" in a house of god, it’s fair to say that London-based designer Dilara Findikoglu and the church have some history. The 'orgy' was actually a pretty standard presentation of her symbolic and spectacular Spring/Summer 18 collection during London Fashion Week, but that detail apparently escaped the apoplectic alt-right vlogger and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, of InfoWars. (Who knows what he thought of the tour merch Dilara designed for Marilyn Manson.)
Far from giving up on her goddess-worshipping ways, and pagan, Christian and other religious and spiritual design iconography, Dilara has doubled down on her inclusive vision of identity, love and the joy of symbolic ritual. Ahead of showing her next seasonal collection in September, Dilara has created a truly inclusive capsule collection of alternative wedding looks – a mix of gowns and tailoring to suit every gender presentation – that has seriously improved our opinion of the (often conservative) institution of marriage.
To celebrate the collection, Dilara has created an eclectic wedding playlist exclusively for Refinery29 (below), and indulged in a little crystal ball-gazing about her own romantic intentions. Never, ever one to do things by halves, Dilara’s dream wedding is as opulent as it is unusual, honouring both her Turkish heritage and fashion-goth identity.
"I would like to get married in few different places," the designer says. "Ephesus antique city in Turkey," (a UNESCO world heritage site, important in the history of medicine and philosophy), "at Château de Versailles, and Hunedoara Castle in Transylvania" (a Gothic-Renaissance castle in Romania, and presumably one of Dracula’s favourite hotspots).
"I would like to change my outfit seven times," Dilara adds, "and I would love to wear an antique Ottoman wedding dress too." Dilara doesn’t plan to pull off this grand triple-wedding alone: "[Filmmakers] Tim Burton and Alejandro Jodorowsky can do the set," she says, "[with live] music by Led Zeppelin, Madonna and [Turkish rock star] Erkin Koray."
Back in the real world, Dilara says she wants people who get married in her inclusive wedding collection to "feel loved and empowered as if they could conquer the world!" They’ll get a head start with her alternative wedding mixtape – a truly eclectic playlist mapped to the main events of a wedding day, taking in Metallica, Madonna (who's a fan), and a Bach composition that you will recognise from every horror film ever made. Enjoy!
Getting dressed and ready… The Runaways – "I Wanna Be Where The Boys Are"
Dilara says: "Ironic for a girl who is about to get married :)"
Arriving at the church… Madonna – "Like A Prayer" or Depeche Mode – "Personal Jesus"
Walking down the aisle… Johann Sebastian Bach – "Toccata and Fugue"
Dilara: "This is a must, there is no other option for this moment."
Exchanging rings and vows… Led Zeppelin – "Whole Lotta Love" or Guns and Roses – "November Rain"
Dilara chose the Guns and Roses track "for the sake of the iconic wedding scene" (in the video).
Just married… Ramones – "We're A Happy Family"
Dilara says: "Hopefully it will be a happy family!"
The speeches… The Damned – "Love Song"
Dilara: "My kind of love song."
First dance… Baris Manco – "Gonul Dagi"
"I’m not into slow songs," says Dilara, "but this Turkish psychedelic rock song from my favourite artist, Baris Manco, has to be played at my wedding."
Cutting the cake… Bauhaus – "Passion of Lovers"
"This is for dark romance! [with the lyrics] 'The passion of lovers is for death'."
Driving away from the church… Metallica – "The Four Horsemen"
"Perfect for adrenaline in an '80s red Ferrari!"
On honeymoon… Sade – "Smooth Operator"
Dilara says: "We need the sexy classics on honeymoon!"