Dice Kayek has won the £25,000 Jameel Prize 3 for Istanbul Contrast (2010), a collection of garments that evoke Istanbul’s architectural and artistic heritage. Dice Kayek is a Turkish fashion label established in 1992 by sisters Ece and Ayşe Ege. Martin Roth, Director of the V&A and Fady Jameel, President of Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives International (ALJCI) presented Ece and Ayşe Ege with the prize at a ceremony at the V&A on Tuesday 10 December.
The judges felt that Dice Kayek’s work demonstrates how vibrant and creative Islamic traditions continue to be today, matching the aims of the Jameel Prize. Their translation of architectural ideas into fashion shows how Islamic traditions can still transfer from one art form to another, as they did in the past.
Martin Roth, Director of the V&A and chair of the panel of judges said, “The selection of the winner was as difficult as ever, given the very high standard of the shortlisted work. We were struck by the way that Dice Kayek’s work uses Islamic inspiration in a completely secular context, taking it into a new world, that of contemporary fashion. Their interpretation of Islamic traditions in the three garments displayed makes them truly deserving winners of the Jameel Prize 3.”
Dice Kayek is showing three of the 26 designs from Istanbul Contrast in the Jameel Prize 3 exhibition. In Caftan, made of hand-woven lamé brocade, the sisters reworked the robes worn by the city’s former Ottoman rulers. In Dome 2, light-weight cotton organdy was folded to echo the ribs of lead-covered domes of the city’s mosques and palaces. In Hagia Sophia, they were inspired by Byzantine mosaics, creating a white satin coat with complex, hand-stitched embroidery that incorporates ancient glass beads. The Ege sisters were born in Bursa, Turkey, and they live and work between Istanbul and Paris.
Awarded every two years, the Jameel Prize is an international art prize for contemporary artists and designers inspired by Islamic traditions of art, craft and design. The prize aims to raise awareness of the thriving interaction between contemporary practice and this great historical heritage and to broaden understanding of Islamic culture and its place in the world.
An exhibition of work by the winner and nine other short-listed artists and designers runs until 21 April 2014. They are Faig Ahmed, Nasser Al Salem, Nada Debs, Mounir Fatmi, Rahul Jain, Waqas Khan, Laurent Mareschal, Florie Salnot and Pascal Zoghbi.
The winner of the first Jameel Prize in 2009 was Afruz Amighi for her work 1001 Pages (2008), part of a series in which she uses light and shadow to create complex and engaging designs whose precise location can elude the viewer. In 2011 the winner was Rachid Koraïchi, for his work Les Maîtres Invisibles (The Invisible Masters, 2008), a selection of banners embroidered with Arabic calligraphy and a variety of symbols and ciphers that explore the lives and legacies of the 14 great mystics of Islam. Rachid Koraïchi is on the judging panel for this year’s prize.
The winner was decided by a panel of judges chaired by Martin Roth, Director of the V&A. The judges are Thomas Heatherwick, designer and founder of Heatherwick Studio; Rachid Koraïchi, winner of the Jameel Prize 2011 ; Nada Shabout, Associate Professor of Art History and the Director of the Contemporary Arab and Muslim Cultural Studies Institute at the University of North Texas, USA and Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFarès, Founding Director of the Khatt Foundation, Center for Arabic Typography The Jameel Prize is founded in partnership with Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives (ALJCI). The Jameel Prize was conceived after the renovation of the V&A’s Jameel Gallery of Islamic Art, which opened in July 2006 to present the rich artistic heritage of the Islamic world.
The Jameel Prize 3 exhibition is curated by Tim Stanley, senior curator of the V&A’s Middle Eastern collection, with Salma Tuqan, V&A’s Middle East curator of contemporary art and design.
Dice Kayek is a fashion label that was established in Paris in 1992 by sisters Ece and Ayşe Ege. The sisters were raised in Bursa, Turkey and now live and work between Istanbul and Paris. Dice Kayek became a well known name after the successful launch of their first collection, displaying their unique take on the conventional white shirt. Since its foundation Dice Kayek has exported its collections to five continents and more than 35 countries. The brand has entered into a number of distribution and consultancy agreements with leading fashion businesses in Japan, Turkey and South Korea. In 1994 Dice Kayek became a member of the Fédération Française de la Couture, du Prêt-à-Porter des Couturiers et des Créateurs de Mode. In 2002 Dice Kayek designed the costumes for the video-opera Accents in Alsace, based on a play by Gertrude Stein, directed and adapted by Elizabeth Lennard for the Opéra Bobigny and in 2000 the brand was invited by the French Pavilion Committee of Expo 2000 in Hanover, to design and exhibit a unique dress representing the region of Alsace. Dice Kayek exhibited their Istanbul Contrast collection at Amsterdam Museum (2011); Le Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, Turkish Season in France (2010); and Istanbul Museum of Modern Arts, Istanbul Capital of Culture (2010). Dice Kayek has opened two pop-up stores at Fenwick, London (2012) and Galeries Lafayette, Paris (2011). Ece Ege was awarded with ‘Le Trophée de la Réussite au Féminin’ by the Association France-Euro-Méditeranée for encouraging interaction between French/European and Turkish cultures (2010) and the ‘Femme en Or’ award for Designer of the Year (2003) by the Whirlpool Group.