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Pınar Sabancı & Eda Güngör A Winter Night’s Dream

Elbise: MOFC, Eldiven:Elif Domaniç

Renowned designer Eda Güngör’s vision is brought to life by Pınar Sabancı as her muse. Renouncing the pitfall of the quest for perfection, Güngör and Sabancı believe that flaws definitely have a meaning in life.

Jacket, skirt: MOFC, Shoes: N21, Vakko, Gloves: Elif Domaniç, Earrings: Ninon, Stockings: Penti


You studied psychology and are an expert in the workings of the mind and the subconscious. Do you think humans are always looking for perfection? Do they feel satisfied when they attain it, or do they create new quests and challenges for themselves?

Many reasons lie behind one’s struggle to be perfect. These often are lack of self-confidence, need to be accepted and loved, concern about making mistakes, traumas, parental expectations, and personal and sociocultural factors. We believe that we can be respected, loved, and accepted only if we’re perfect; however, this assumption imprisons us in unhappiness by dangling the concept of perfection in front of our face like a carrot to a horse. We can, of course, be the best in a specific field but, due to human nature, we’re multitalented beings, and it’s impossible to be perfect in every field. People who pursue perfection judge themselves in a merciless way; they’re never satisfied because they’re drowning in the pit of “more and better,” and they underestimate their achievements. There will always be new quests and new conditions to be fulfilled. They make life quite hard for themselves and people around them. Research shows that people with these characteristics experience depression and anxiety at a higher level. So, there’s a positive correlation between perfectionism and psychopathology. If we can realise that harsh, judgmental voice inside our head and start showing compassion and understanding to ourselves, then we’re more open to development. Otherwise, we miss living life while chasing after some unreachable standard.

Dress, boots: MOFC, Hat : Stetson, Gloves: Elif Domaniç

Many authors and thinkers believe that it’s futile to look for perfection. Gandhi said, “My imperfections and failures are as much a blessing from God as my successes and my talents.” Do you agree with him? What are your thoughts on perfection as a psychologist?

Yes, I agree with Gandhi’s perspective. Besides, wouldn’t it be incredibly boring to be perfect? My imperfections and failures, the way I react to them, the lessons I learn, myself, and my journey are all unique. Believe me when I say that if everything was perfect or we were successful at everything we did, we wouldn’t be happy. Since, through hedonic adaptation, we go back to our initial level of happiness, we would want more and feel less content. There’s nothing in the universe that can be classified “perfect” by our unattainable standards. If it weren’t for the “flaws,” we wouldn’t exist. Look at nature and how everything’s in a certain harmony. Like pieces of a puzzle, the vacuum of one thing’s existence is complemented by the excess of another. Nothing is complete by itself, yet everything is also perfect in that. They create a wonderful harmony when they come together. Look at the people you love, and think about how much you love them despite their “flaws.” It’s harder to feel this way about ourselves; we can be quite ruthless to ourselves. We have sold judgments. When we start listening to this judgmental voice in our mind, we start chasing perfection to fix and improve ourselves. But we don’t need this to be loved or accepted.

You utilise your academic training to support others. How do you integrate these studies in your own life? Do you have a philosophy you follow in every aspect of life?

Most of the time, the thoughts we believe to be ours belong to someone or something else. The society we live in, and the things we hear, observe and learn as we grow up dramatically shape our behaviours and ideas. Unless we learn to analyse ourselves and understand that the ideas in our heads don’t represent absolute reality, we can spend our entire lives by living according to the truths dictated to us and other people’s expectations, without questioning anything or understanding who we are. It’s essential for an individual to know themselves and humanity, and to understand how their mind works. In this regard, my training and questioning in the field of psychology have given me great awakening. I learned the ability to get to the essence, to analyse, and to realise. It made me see that, most of the time, we live on auto-pilot, guided by our preconceptions. My experience in this field and the months I spent at Lape Hospital taught me how to shed my prejudice and to empathise at a higher level. I begin each day with meditation. Regardless of your theoretical knowledge, it’s imperative to actively engage in awareness practices to build that muscle. You need to train your mind in order to stay in the moment, and it can be only achieved through practice. Meditation and breathing exercises are the keys to open the door to a life with awareness. You need to be aware in order not to be imprisoned by ideas that do not belong to you and the feelings they create. I can summarise my life philosophy with a quote from Thich Nhat Hanh. “Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything, we cannot be free.

We’re curious about your thoughts on perfection as a woman. Considering that the understanding of beauty has become rather superficial, what do you think is the secret to being at peace with one’s own body?

According to evolutionary psychology, what we like is related to our reproductive instincts. We find physical attributions that evoke fertility attractive. Media is also doing some marketing towards a certain look, which heavily influences our perception of aesthetics. In this sense, I find the body positivity movement valuable. We tend to hide the things we regard as flaws. It’s wonderful that people share these to make them more visible; however, this much emphasis on physical appearance, albeit positive, can have negative effects. I believe that body neutrality is the way to make peace with our bodies. It’s not easy to always feel positively about the way we look in a world where people focus so much on unattainable body standards. We should focus on what our bodies can do for us instead of how they look; living a life without putting our bodies at the centre of our being is the only way to establish a healthy relationship with them in the long run.

Dress: MOFC, Shoes: Valentino, Beymen, Gloves: Elif Domaniç, Stockings: Penti

Would you describe yourself as a perfectionist? How important a place does perfection hold in your personal and professional life?

I grew up in a family which prioritised school and education and focused on success. When I realised its control over my mind, its power over me diminished. As I grew older, I came to understand that success is about living a happy and content life going through this world with kindness and compassion. I’m much more compassionate and understanding towards myself. Of course, I can occasionally feel my perfectionist side come closer to the surface and find myself in judgement but awareness is the key to many things. I learned how not to take that voice seriously. For me, what matters is doing something in the best way I can rather than doing it perfectly.

You have a quite busy schedule. What do you do to maintain your balance? What are the biggest things that give you peace?

I always make time for things that are good for my soul. When life gets busy, the first things we give up are usually activities that feed our soul and entertain us. Eventually, we come to realise that our entire life has become a to-do list and we’re stuck checking one box after another. There’s no room to breathe anymore, and we start feeling drained. For instance, it feels good to calmly start my day so I make sure to get up early and spend time with myself. I meditate, write down my thoughts and dreams. I make a fresh cup of coffee, put on a calm music, and read a book. Going on forest walks with my dogs and lying down with my kids as they sleep have never failed to ease my mind, even on the most chaotic of days. If I find myself troubled during the day, I listen to myself and ask questions such as “Why am I upset?”, “What is my mind telling me, and is it truthful?”, and “What do I need right now, and how can I help myself?” Being compassionate to yourself is much harder than being compassionate towards others. I try to show myself the same love and understanding I’d show to a close friend.

You have unique and distinctive style. How would you define your personal style?

I usually prefer wearing comfortable and plain clothes. I enjoy buying timeless pieces and wearing them for many years. I have never been devoted to fashion, and I don’t follow fast-changing trends. So, I don’t really spend much time dressing. I generally wear the first thing I can put together in the morning. For special occasions, I prefer local and authentic brands with ethical values, such as Eda’s, whose attitude in life I can appreciate.

Dress: MOFC


You founded Museum of Fine Clothing in 2009 and, since then, you’ve been blending contemporary design with exquisite craftsmanship. Can you tell us about your design philosophy?

My design philosophy is highly aligned with my perspective on life. I dislike confusion and prefer certain, good, and comfortable things with an idea. Museum of Fine Clothing inspired my designs with its name. It makes me feel like I'm creating timeless designs. My goal is to make good clothes that always deserve to be worn. By utilising the power of design, I attach great significance to high sewing techniques, quality of fabric, and perfect patterns. You end up with good design when you have all these elements.

Your designs are both sophisticated and elegant. How do you strike that balance?

Making good design requires a deep knowledge of the human body. I’m a designer who enjoys making women look pretty. I always hide an idea in my designs and try to express that thought through details. Although the conceptual understanding of fashion, which began in the 1990s, has been more influential recently, I don’t like having clothes independent from the body or deforming volumes. I want the clothes I make to possess a unique quality as an object, a purpose, and a degree of artistic creativity. This perspective makes it easy for me to find a balance while designing.

Suit, scarf: MOFC, Shoes: Prada, Sunglasses: Ray-Ban, Chair: House of Junk

Each of your designs tells a different story, and every woman who wears them looks ready for a different adventure. What’s the image of the woman you have in your mind when you’re designing? Where does her path lead, and how does she see life?

Each design has a presence, a purpose, and an idea. It’s not just a textile object. I don’t design for art’s sake either. I prefer to create wearable designs inspired by artistic creativity. So everything that affects me can become an idea for design. Many women wear my designs, and I believe that their preference for refined, original, and quality clothing lies at the heart of this diversity. I enjoy dressing women with a high sense of aesthetics, a knowledge of the world, and an air of authenticity to them. People who can combine my design with the right accessories, hair style, and makeup better represent me and my work.

You make haute couture and pret-a-couture designs. How would you define your design approach; avant-garde, or classical?

You work with different principles when you’re designing tailor-made clothes because you have to tell the stories of two people: one is the DNA and capabilities of the designer, and the other is the needs, size, and personality of the person you’re working with. There’s a collaborative creative process. It’s an entirely different process when you’re preparing a collection, and you have only one story to tell. You can tell that story with the colours, forms, and techniques you want. I think my understanding of design is innovative and original so I wouldn’t describe it as avant-garde or classical. I’m an experimental designer who researches volumes and techniques based on the story.

How do you think perfect design can be possible? Or do you consider flaws as part of the design process? What are your criteria for perfection during production?

I believe that flaws also have meanings. Considering that one’s perspective and knowledge of aesthetics may greatly vary from others, I regard perfection as the state of being one’s best. In clothing design, perfection would mean creating a piece of clothing by using the best sewing techniques and combining formal characteristics with a superior idea.

What are the first names or brands that come to your mind when we talk about perfection in design?

To me, the high fashion brands that are closest to perfection are Alexander McQueen, Schiaparelli, Dior, and Valentino.

How did you come to collaborate with your muse Pınar Sabancı on this project?

The reason I collaborated with Pınar Sabancı on this project is that we share a sense of understanding. I admire her as a woman for her attitude, spirit, and style. She wears and loves my designs and follows my work. We got together and shared our ideas and worlds. It’ll have a special place in my memory

Dress, scarf: MOFC, Gloves: Elif Domaniç


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