When the Turkish fashion designers Ece and Ayse Ege of Dice Kayek decided to enter the Jameel Prize – an international award for contemporary art and design inspired by Islamic tradition which they were awarded by London’s Victoria & Albert Museum in December 2013 – they looked towards home for inspiration. Specifically, they looked at some of Istanbul’s iconic landmarks to build a capsule collection whose foundations rest on some of the greatest Turkish monuments. An intricate satin coat hand embroidered with antique glass beads recalls the magnificent Hagia Sophia. A white cotton organdi dress that consists of impeccable folds gives a nod to the famous Blue Mosque. And a third and final dress in the winning collection consists of hand-woven brocard and is a modern interpretation of the traditional caftan. As the judges of the Jameel Prize – which included Zaha Hadid and Thomas Heatherwick – declared, Dice Kayek not only found fashion in architecture but they also used Islamic heritage to fuel contemporary creation.




“The three pieces shortlisted for the Jameel Prize, were all couture pieces revisiting Islamic aesthetic elements from the ottoman era, focusing on architecture – Hagia Sophia and Dome – or sartorial culture – Caftan – and confronting them with bold contemporary perceptions.

The idea behind the conception was to create constructed sculptural forms. We sought to deliver the most perfect engineering for each garment focusing on the understructure using stay and crinoline frames and enveloping it by using various techniques like draping, pleating, layering and embroidery.

The aim was to reach a point beyond fashion, driven towards a work of art. At the end, fashion merely became the medium to represent the artistic idea.”

- Ece Ege, Creative Director of Dice Kayek


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The Dress:
Lame hand-woven brocard. Under-structure made of stays. Draping technique.

The Inspiration:
The caftan, a symbol of style, status, power and honor.




The Dress:
Transparent organdi dress entirely folded by hand, with an imperceptible finish. White cotton, under-structure made of stays.

The Inspiration:
The Blue Mosque.




The Dress:
White satin coat, entirely hand embroidered with antique blown glass beads. The magic of this entirely hand stitched coat resides within the complexity of its embroidery.

The Inspiration:
The Hagia Sophia, a monument of significance in Istanbul’s architectural heritage. It reflects Islamic tolerance as well as cultural and aesthetic assimilation.