Good Look Kutluk

A monochrome palette is always in demand, Dublin based Turkish designer Umit Kutluk tells Deirdre McQuillan


zHe has a glorious showroom o n Merrion Square with floor-to-ceiling mirrors and rails of couture clothes in the most luxurious of fabrics. Now Umit Kutluk, Turkish designer but adopted Irishman, is launching a ready-to-wear line for spring. Apart from some pastel dresses – in pale pink, lemon and mint – he has concentrated on a monochrome palette. “Customers, mostly over 35, always ask, ‘Do you have it in black or white or cream?’ ” he says. “That’s what Irish people like and are always looking for – that’s the reason I’m doing it, to keep things simple, but also to show my skills.”

These “simple” things are priced from €250 and include elegant panelled blouses and gathered Grecian-style tops in fine silk crepe, stretch skirts in satinised cotton, leather shorts and soft chiffon tops. It’s mostly a daywear collection – leather bomber jackets with snakeskin trim or black leather T-shirts that could be worn with jeans. The embroidered cotton and linen black dresses have more of a couture look and are finished with small appliquéd flowers. There are two dresses in the ready-to-wear collection which come in flattering pastel shades as well as black and white.

His decision to combine couture work with ready-to-wear pieces was a practical one to ensure the economic survival of his small team and to expand abroad. Some pieces are available in size 16.

Most of the fabrics come from Turkey. He believes that when it comes to tailoring, nobody can beat the Italians. For cashmere and wool, it’s hard to surpass the UK. But for leather, Turkey leads the world. He is using the latest high-tech washable stretch leather with a fused cotton backing for comfort which doesn’t need lining. It’s the same as that currently used by Gucci. It makes leather pencil skirts and trousers easier to wear and more practical.

Women go to him for weddings and special events. For the IFTAs, the elaborate, ornately detailed dresses worn by Kathryn Thomas, Orla O’Rourke and Caroline Sleiman were by Kutluk. Last weekend, he was heading to Istanbul to make outfits for a high-profile society wedding in June when Irish model and TV presenter Chloe Loughnane marries the well known Turkish singer Sertar Ortac.

There are reductions of up to 70 per cent on last year’s collections, until May 3rd, at 27 Merrion Square in Dublin 2. For further details see or tel: 01-7753 885