The latest collection from the Saint Dilara Beach Club comprises of “lingerie-style pieces that can be worn in public”
Great swimwear is hard to come by. Beachside, purpose tends to rule in the form of flimsy, thonged flip-flops and too-small budgie-smugglers. Less is more, but should that really compromise style? Turkish designer Dilara Findikoglu proves not with the second iteration of her swimwear capsule collection, Saint Dilara Beach Club.
Encompassing the hauntingly beautiful codes of her mainline – the referencing of powerful women in history, bound by the harder edges of fetish and glam-rock – Findikoglu’s fresh take on swimwear is as empowering as it is refined. “From a business perspective we were noticing a lack of this type of elevated swimwear,” she tells AnOther, “which we approach with the same craftsmanship as our main collections. We want the swimwear to feel as special.”
It’s swimwear to feel special in, too. The capsule includes silhouette-sculpting pieces that take their shape from 18th-century corsetry, streamlining the body with techniques passed down for generations. “It was a great challenge to convince the factories to use boning for swimwear. I had to meet with four different factories to actually find the perfect place that was keen to try our methods.”
“Each of the new styles are inspired by our favourite female heroines, like Joan of Arc, Marie Antoinette and Mata Hari.” These radical women capture the radical essence of the elegant Dilara Findikoglu wearer, daring enough to don her thoughtful yet sensual pieces. “I’m obsessed with undergarments and the way they shape and present the female body – so naturally, I saw swimwear as an opportunity to design lingerie-style pieces that can be worn in public.”
The cinematic campaign features Lily McMenamy clad in pieces from the capsule; with a snake draped over her shoulders or posed in a glass tank, she appears powerful, never trapped. It’s the masterful work of Danish photographer Casper Sejersen (who captured Saint Laurent for AnOther’s most recent issue), known for his characterful images with erotic undertones. “Lily [McMenamy] has been one of my favourite collaborators since the beginning of my career,” he says. ”She has portrayed a lot of different characters for me in different seasons. She really embodies all the characteristics of a Dilara woman: otherworldly, brave, powerful, and sexy.”
While the 2021 capsule captured the escapism of an imaginary island, the narrative of this year is formed around “becoming a saint on the island”– a further sense of freedom from burden and celebrating the power of self-deification. It’s through this sense of mystic spiritualism that Findikoglu captures the spirit of summer.
Saint Dilara Beach Club is available to shop online now.