Five years ago I discovered a beautiful beach dress in a hotel store in Bodrum/Turkey. It was a silken maxi dress by „T’n Me“ with a seashell print, embellished with coral stones. The shop assistant told me about the elaborate needlework. She even gave me the contacts of the designer, Isin Sakaoglu, in case I was interested in more pieces.
Back home from vacation I gave Isin a call to thank her for this lovely handmade beach dress. It was a phone conversation of that special kind, when you get in tune with a person immediately although you never met before. She even told me about her cancer diagnosis and that she was in the middle of a chemo therapy. For my next trip to Bodrum I promised to follow her friendly invite to her Flagship Store.
Years passed and I traveled back to Bodrum in 2014. At Türkbükü’s shore I coincidentally discovered the „T’n Me“- Store. Happy about this unexpected find I walked in immediately. A kind man approached me. Assuming he was the shop assistant I explained I already had the pleasure to talk to Isin. His answer to my query, if it was possible to see her, was heartbreaking: „Unfortunately my wife passed away recently.“
Shocked by the sad news and ashamed of having reminded a man of his wife’s death, I stuttered a slurred „My heartfelt sympathy“ and left the shop in a hurry.
Outside I couldn’t hold back the tears. I told my husband, who was waiting in front of the entrance, what had happened. I’m glad he convinced me to go back to pay my last respect to Isin.
Mister Sakaoglu did not seem to be surprised about my quick return. He carried on our conversation as I had never left the store: „This is the collection of her last designs. Please, take a look!“ And I did, with mixed emotions. I wondered, if it was appropriate to think of fashion although somebody had died shortly.
As if Mister Sakaoglu could read my mind, he said: „Isin created this collection with her last strengths but she felt happy completing her work. I’m sure she would have been pleased to see how you value her designs.“
On that day I chose three tunics with mixed feeling – tearful and happy at the same time. To me Isin’s dresses are not simply fashionable textiles, they have a deeper meaning. They bear her remembrance – a memento of a strong, passionate and creative woman who loved what she was doing. When I wear her tunics it makes me happy to imagine that I show her my respect.