Dilara Findikoglu, fashion designer, on her vagina
GB Tell me why you chose this.
DF I did a collection based on a religion that I’d created. There were six looks and each look was a goddess, inspired by a character from mythology. I made a dress where I used casts of my own vagina that represented Eve. It represents creativity, not just giving in birth, but our ability to create anything we want. The dress portrays the Garden of Eden with forbidden fruits and snakes and real preserved flowers. I wanted to put something there that could represent the creative process – so I started off casting my good friend Harriet’s vagina, but it was difficult because the alginate dries very quickly. We did one but then I needed to do a lot more and I felt I couldn’t keep asking her – so mine was the closest one! I didn’t want to use mine at first because I felt a bit uncomfortable but now I don’t care. It is so forbidden and secretive, that’s what makes the vagina the most beautiful thing in the world for me. It’s the greatest source of satisfaction but also of beauty and birth. Humanity would die without it.
GB Do you think women should look at them more?
DF Yes, it’s beautiful to look at and it looks like an orchid. I think there’s a connection between them. If there’s a God or anything that created us, they definitely created a connection between those two things. It also represents power. In Islam they said that only God can create but in my religion the God made us as a part of himself, so we have the same power and strength and the ability to create other living creatures.
GB And is there a power in its simple sexual attraction?
DF It’s interesting when it comes to virginity. Women have a hymen but meN have no equivalent. There’s no way to tell if they’ve had sex before and I think that gives men a certain power. I think women are powerful but I see it as a balance. Neither one can create a child alone. So for me it’s a symbol of balance.
GB What do you think about different words for it?
DF I like pussy. It’s quite soft. There’s a word like that in Turkish called ‘kuku’. I really don’t like it because it’s what little girls say. They won’t use the word vagina because they’re ashamed of it. They have to whisper it. If your boyfriend used that word it would seem really wrong and uncomfortable.
GB Do you think periods make it less beautiful?
DF No, I think anything natural is beautiful whether it’s blood or body hair and it’s just a matter of being comfortable with it. I do think the vagina looks more sexual when it’s hairless. The artist, Matt Collishaw made these amazing flowers from raw, pink meat for Garage magazine. They all look like vaginas. Marc Quinn made very close up paintings of orchids too. There’s something very sexy about those flowers. But having said that, I have a bush right now. Sometimes I prefer that. I would only ever wax it for myself. I have a boyfriend who is happy either way. Fashion is also concerned with covering the vagina. I have these trousers that give me the biggest camel toe and I don’t care! If I have it, I’ll show it. I want that freedom. We’re used to seeing men around with a bulge in their trousers and we barely notice it.
GB What makes something worthy of the word Beauty to you?
DF I can find something superficially beautiful or something else deeply and philosophically beautiful. I think the vagina is the perfect balance of those.