In the couture arena, the true test of talent is the manner in which garments are imbued with a measure of contemporary adequacy and sense of occasion. This is precisely the take-away impression at Dice Kayek, the Turkish couture house of sisters Ece and Ayçe Ege after their Dollhouse show, staged in a pristine white box flanked by all-white benches. The structural work of the sisters had long been lauded for its radiant purity. Accolades have ranged from retailers such as Galeries Lafayette — a dress was exhibited like a work of art — to the prestigious 2013 Jameel Prize for contemporary art and design.
Opening on short dresses, the collection was a feat of (de)construction that recalled childhood games. The heavy fabrics — thick silk gabardine, leather — telegraphed the pliant rigidity of small-scale garments. As a result, there were fewer occurrences of the Ege's exploration of sculpted fabric, in favor of more traditional volumes obtained through fabric weight and assembly. Most dresses remained devoid of embellishments — and even when using pleats, which the designers have harnessed to their full potential in the past. Only very occasionally did they resort to the couture expedient of embroideries and beading. All looks were anchored with towering Mary-janes, with large glass ball closures, in matching hues.
It was flawless in desirability, from the geometric assembly of a black jumpsuit to the Op Art plissé of an asymmetric dress. Structures mingled with the feminine form to forge a cohesive collection. The Ege's economy of design has often yielded garments of poetic fascination, like the spinning top dress and its three colors curving along the fullness of a skirt; not today, however, where they pulled off a collection that was charming in its innocent prettiness but perhaps a shade too conventional for these masters of sculptural minimalism.