[A]lexander McQueen constantly challenged the boundaries of fashion to create conceptual work that reflected on his sense of self. Now supported by his foundation and an artist-in-residence at the Sarabande studios, Esna Su’s work continues this tradition. The jewellery and accessories designer draws on her own unique history and the contemporary plight of her homeland, to create wearable sculptures imbued with a deep sense of meaning.
Born in the south of Turkey, Esna’s collection ‘The Refugee and the Burden’ explores the displacement of Syrian refugees following the war, and the concept of memory and belonging in a fractured world.
Using traditional Syrian techniques – the collection consists of two parts. The first part created using paper rush, represents the need for protection and isolation of refugees in their new homes. The sculpture is designed to give the wearer a warm, therapeutic feeling. The second part – the Burden Bag collection reflects the belongings the refugees have had to leave behind in their homeland, incorporating sentimental objects in the designs themselves.
The resulting pieces are haunting and beautiful, a fitting tribute to the forgotten people at the centre of the crisis.
We recently visited Esna in her studio to talk about her unique creations, preserving memory, and the legacy of Lee Alexander McQueen.