Admiring traditional Turkish Kirkpinar wrestlers, designer of label Y Plus; Yakup Bicer delivers an authentic unisex collection for London Fashion Week AW20 Fashion Scout catwalk. In tribute to his cultural traditions in Turkey, Bicer reworks many original wrestling pieces and meaningful beliefs onto his garments, we talk with him after the catwalk; touching on his incitement.
Keeping an identical title to his SS20 collection; 'Pehlivan' which originates from a Turkish word meaning noble, wrestler, hero or champion" Bicer says "With the last collection, it was very black and white but with this one, we used colours, more illustrated designs and prints." Integrating different colourways such as dark wine reds and gleaming golds, the collection resembles strength and stamina of the traditional Turkish sports personality.
"Wrestling is something that's prominent in our culture, it been a tradition for 680 years and is still continuing now. The red detailing to the garment symbolises a call to the wresters, for the fight, they burn a red light." Uniting every element of Turkish rituals Bicer, believes each design in the collection holds its own story, impersonating hero's for their "strength, courage and originality."
Composing an entirely unisex collection Bicer devises timeless black oversized shirts and jackets, being the staple pieces. The looks are then layered with more colourful, printed and cinched garments to highlight the multiuse of his collection through gender. "We are the brand for everybody, everybody can wear us, we have no gender, no age. Everybody can find something!"
Utilising their unique craftsmanship traits, Y Plus delivered their own version of camouflage; printing the outlines of male wrestlers onto light fabrics to create a mix-matched, artistic style of print. "We turned the physical act of wrestling into a print, it was a little bit difficult crafting the garments, but we have a friend in the textile industry so we got the fabrics specially made just for us." Although this season Bicer introduced the element of embroidery, emphasising on the vintage style of the garments.
"Loads of my designs are influenced by culture, for instance; the authentic tiny, triangle body bag which Turkish people traditionally use to putt their prayers next to your heart, protecting them from bad things. We made a bigger version for our collection which is used as a bag."
Y Plus invited guest models onto the runway including a newborn baby and their mother; Tülin Şahin, a well-known Turkish Super Model. Alongside oiled-up twin, world wresting champions; Ismail Balaban and Turan Balaban. "We used original pants for the twin male models, they are also world champions which inspired me."
Giving an exclusive hint into next years collection Bicer also says "The white mesh hoodie is really scuba friendly and fun, it's an inspiration we had from our upcoming ideas, it may be a link to next seasons collection."
Photography by Sebastian Davies