If the country of Turkey is caught between European and Asian sensibilities, designer Ece Ege then uses her birthplace's dichotomy to an advantage in creating the dramatic pieces of her Parisian-based line, Dice Kayek.
"All of Turkey is a link between Asia and Europe, and my inspiration is always Japan and the Ottoman Empire," says the Bursa native. "I think I must have been Japanese in my former life. They are so ahead of everything. But they keep a respect for tradition just like in Turkey."
For her summer line, the designer reinterpreted two hot-weather favorites, the caftan—which is also the national dress of her homeland—and the kimono, each with more hits of color and gorgeously feminine fabrics. The designer admits to making a distinctive switch for fall/winter, heading back to black with a range of looks resembling a Russian peasant gone S&M, which allegedly had some roots in a futuristic comic book heroine. Detailed leather dresses rule the collection with a smattering of mink trimmings. Ege delicately and flawlessly molds luscious hides into a romantic ruffle on a plain shift and works it into tiers on a few billowy numbers, too.
Though Ege has an almost solemn and earnest respect for tradition, she also let's her light European side shine through in her subtle sense of humor regarding to the nomenclature of her seemingly Turkish-sounding label. "It's all made up. Dice Kayek is a combination of the partners names, but it sounds like it means something, no?" she asks with a good-natured laugh.
Dice Kayek already produces a ready-to-wear Pink Label, couture Black Label, and customized wedding dresses, but there's further plans afoot. "My dream is to make handbags and shoes. I want to do something glamorous," says Ege who is laying plans for a stateside invasion in the coming year.
"Women in America are different from Europeans in their white shirts and jeans. They think nothing of wearing gowns and dresses to parties. It's a pleasure to see people dress up in that way, so I think the U.S. will work with my style."
The Paris-based design house Dice Kayek takes a dark turn for fall.