28 January 2014

After a very long wait to get to him, finally I got a chance to sit down with Serkan Cura, one hour after he showed his spring/summer haute couture colection. It's just us, sitting front row at Theatre Déjazet, with many poeple behind the closed curtains making noise cleaning up things.

I'm always the last man standing.
I saw a lot of feathers. Why are feathers so appealing to you?

Because feathers, it was the first thing I had in my hand. When I was thirteen years old, I went to a flea market, and I found a little part of an old bird of paradise. And I used it when I made hats. And after that, when I came to Paris to work for Jean-Paul Gaultier, I found this maison haute couture of feathers, Maison Fevrier. And he sold all his feathers, because at that time these people wanted to close the shop. And it was there, 200 square metres, all of paradise birds, aigrette (egret), heron, everything that you can't find anymore. It was old stock from the 20s. And I tried to do all the things to get this little collection of feathers. I bought it, and I said, okay, I will do something on my own. I stopped working at Jean-Paul Gaultier, and six months after that, I made my first collection with seven pieces. My signature is the feathers because I like to try to change the feathers (into) like fur, something completely different. I can stitch the feathers, I can embroider it, glue it, burn it, dye it, I can do whatever I want, coloure it, bleach it, everything. With feathers, you can't stop. you can always find something to do.

Do you know where the bird of paradise comes from?
Yes, the New Guinea.

It's Indonesia. The eastern part is Papua New guinea, the west is Papua, Indonesia. So we share the island.
Aha,.. I will come to visit you!
So, every material has challenge. What is it with feathers?
To find new techniques. And to make it stronger. Stronger, but lighter. You understand?  It's not a constrution. It's not a costume. It's couture. (Everything lies) on techniques. I try to work always on the feathers. After that, I put them on my clothes. It' lighter, it's like silk on your body. When you see my dress, I tried to work always based on feather. 
The process of designing is coming from sketch or material?

First, my depart to make collection is from feathers I have. What kind of feathers. For many years I have been collecting feathers. For example, I made one dress from the parrots, no, the macaw, the big one with red and blue feathers. I collected the feathers two years before I made it. It's like that. When I see special feathers which I have collected for long long time, from old stock,...

Then you can not say how long you prepare your collection?
Yes. My next collection, for winter, I began six months ago, it means one year before the collection (is shown). Because I need to collect all the feathers, I need to get all my ideas, the quantity of feathers, because it take a lot of feathers to find the right dégradé, the shape, and everything needs to be the same. I think one hundred, or two hundreds, maybe one thousand of birds before you can make something very nice of a collection.

Do you think that the collection of this season has a special characteristic, or your collections perhaps are all seasonless, like you can't devide them into spring/summer and fall/winter? 
I think my collection always continues.  
So this one is not just for spring/summer?

It's summer, because I made everything lighter, but for the winter I make the same! (laughing) But I give the feathers of the shape of fur. I try to show winter or summer, but at the end, I play. I do what I want.

What is the main inpiration for this collection then?
I took Avatar, the Eywa, I make it in black. I made it from Pirates of The Carribean, the ship, the shells comes out from the guy, I did the same with the girl with shell. And more, I made
a little bolero with mother of pearls, as you can see it but it's very new aspect of cutting the shell, blending it with leather. And it was nice. Voila. I tried to play. 
Some people say that you are not a fashion designer, you are a costume designer. Do you agree?

Nobody said that to me.

I read it somewhere. 
If you put Serkan Cura on internet, you can say a lot of things, but I don't care. I try to do couture. I do couture, because I do it with a lot of techniques. I do my best to show things, from Paris, 100 percent made in Paris. I can make costumes if you want. I tried to do it for Victoria's Secret , but it was nöt possible. It's alwas couture. You can see the difference between my work at Victoria's Secret and somebody who makes costumes. Completely different. Because you have different shapes, different ideas, it took one month to make just one corset. It takes time, and savoir faire, a special know-how.

Do you consider yourself as an artist? 
I consider myself as someone (stopped for few seconds...)
...someone, who wants to give dream. I'm not an artist. I'm only hands, being there to make, to offer dreams. I'm not there to say I'm a designer.

You're not considering yourself as a designer?

No, I am there to play and to make couture. I'm doing my best, to do the best to show haute couture of feathers, the ideas, the shapes, and look, I am on the list of haute couture. It means I make something interesting for people.

How is Serkan Cura women?

It's glamorous, sexy, natural.

Last question, what was the last thing you ate for breakfast?

(Laughing) Is it a joke?

No. It's serious.

I didn't eat for three day, I think. I drink only Coke, and I didn't sleep from five years before.

(Okay. Now he got me)

You're joking!

No. You can come to my atelier to see, we sleep in the atelier for one hour, then come back to work. Everyone drinks Red Bull and Coke. I drink a lot of juice. I'm sick now because I didn't eat.

You need holiday.

Look at my t-shirt, with a lot of holes. I'm like a clochard (laughing). It's true, I look like clochard. The most important thing is to show something nice. I don't care about myself.

And your dedication is paid off.

So, for people who said he's a costume designer, take that! He's the feather bender!

Signorfandi, beyond creative!