“Sarı Zeybek was my first collection. I designed it for the 75th anniversary of the Republic of Turkey. I was inspired by Atatürk, the great leader who came forth with his stylishness and sense of style among the world leaders of his time. I worked very hard to create this collection that has a historical and a cultural value, and that represents the establishment period of the Republic of Turkey. I had to do extensive research into the origins of the clothes, and their details. So, I started from “Anıtkabir” (Atatürk’s mausoleum) where I had the chance of examining the original clothing, and more than 400 photos of Atatürk to have detailed information about the fabrics and styles of the time. We had the clothing -from the t-shirts and sweaters to the socks-, the great leader wore knitted to the original patterns. We diligently worked on every detail, from collars to sleeves. We used English fabrics as well as domestic fabrics. We employed the same sewing techniques and technologies available at that time to create the “Sarı Zeybek” collection.
During my examination of Ataturk’s clothes -including his shoes and trousers-, I frequently came across with the number 42 as his waist and collar size. This is why we had 42 garments in the “Sarı Zeybek” collection.
We debuted this collection at Dolmabahçe Palace to 1750 people, in 1998. We held the second show at Anıtkabir in 2006. That was a great and very significant day. Anıtkabir was open after 5:00pm for the first time for this show, and hosted around five thousand guests. The air force parade performed by F16 jets during the show was another memorable event of the day. When I first visited Ankara in my childhood, my mom and I had a photo on the 11th tread of Anıtkabir. I was given a plaque for the Sarı Zeybek show again on the 11thtread… and my second photo there was with the plaque I was given for the show intended to represent the spirit of the Republic period.”
2. PADİŞAHIN ESVABI DEFİLESİ
The project titled “Padişahın Esvabı” (Sultan’s Outfit) is composed of 36 Sultan, 6 Valide Sultan, 1 Şehzade, and 1 Çengiz clothes over a 624-year period. I believe that we must take care of our own culture and leave good works as heritage to the new generation. Our project grew as we worked on it and continued research. First of all, I started with examining all the clothing data of the Ottoman period, and the 624-year Ottoman and Seljuk period.
We had to identify, investigate, and adapt the costumes and accessories included in the book named “Padişah Portreleri” (Portraits of Sultans) correctly, and present them in a chronological order. I bought “Tesavir-i Al-i Osman Padişahın Portresi”, the exhibition book sponsored by Türkiye İş Bankası. We checked the book and, we learned that some portraits of some of the sultans were made later than the periods they lived in, and some of them were painted only as portraits, and further in the book we the paintings were “Miniature paintings” by miniature artists in various periods.
We visited the palaces, museums, mosques and tombs in Istanbul thoroughly; we took pictures of some major details. We also saw the weapons exhibited at the museum sections of Topkapı Palace, and Dolmabahçe Palace, and at the Military Museum, and then we focused on our work.
Access to the data of a 700-year-old empire required extensive research. We received help from the experts for the project to reflect the reality of the period to the finest detail. We called Dr. Filiz Çağman, the Director of Topkapı Palace Museum to guide us in our research into the sultans’ lifestyles. Hülya Tezcan of the Clothing and Fabric Section of Topkapı Palace Museum gave us access to the museum’s archives where we found information about the original embroidery and decorative patterns of various caftans, entaris (loose robe), shalwars, mintans (shirts), jackets and trousers.
It was very hard to cut the fabrics to form the Kaftans to their original patterns on the cutting tables in our workshop. I think it is not possible for the modern man -in terms of time and patience- to knit and sew such fabrics like the people who spent efforts on them 700 years ago. We used approximately 50 meters of cloth per costume namely the caftans, inner shirts, loose robes, shalwars, and quilted turbans. The historical show represented my 700-work interpretation. The Sultan and Valide Sultan costumes shown by 43 male and female models and introduced by Cihan Ünal are the property of Faruk Saraç Moda Foundation where they kept. The project was first introduced at the fashion show held in Hagia Irene of Topkapı Palace in 2006, and at Çırağan Palace on April 6, 2009
3. TTHE CHARM COLLECTION
‘‘I wanted to crown the 25th year of my career with a special collection. When I flew across the sky at 10 thousand feet, I came across the most beautiful blue color in the world. In the 25th year of my career, I was inspired by the sky, and the universe. It had to be a collection that was able to express where that matter and man came from and where they had arrived in, and mark the location where we are in the universe and time.’’
It took the manufacturers in Hatay, Denizli, and Fethiye almost a year and a half to knit the special fabrics for this collection. At the fashion show held at Archeology Museum, 99 models representing the 99 names of Allah showed the collection composed of 365 items each represented a day in a year.