Couture The Chaos

In conversation with the founder of MASH

An insightful interview with the visionary behind MASH. Explore the story behind this rising label that defies conventional fashion boundaries by intertwining artistry with rebellion. Through its unique blend MASH reinterprets goth and punk subcultures, challenging stereotypes and inviting individuals to embrace their multifaceted identities.

Can you tell us the founding story of MASH and how the concept of transcending conventional fashion boundaries came about?

As the founder of the brand, I consider myself first an artist, then a fashion designer. It was crucial for me to present something different to the world; I strive to evoke emotions in people, to inspire them to think and connect. My intention is to provoke anger, tears, internal conflict, and eventually reconciliation, to make people feel alive and engage deeply within themselves, inciting a slight discomfort. I believe that “pushing beyond accepted limits” was not just a deliberate action but rather what I have been inherently doing all my life – exceeding these limits as a person. “MASH,” at the core of the brand, is my soul – this is the fashion I create. I find mainstream fashion intolerable, just as any art form that lacks depth. It cannot simply be another attractive item on a hanger; it must convey, communicate, and stir up something, even if it is the simplest thing in the world.

How does MASH reinterpret goth and punk subcultures and themes to create a unique fashion statement?

I’m really drawn to punk and goth cultures, particularly because they’re often seen as taboo. However, the world tends to pigeonhole us with stereotypes. For example, there’s a misconception that if you’re into punk, you’re probably using drugs in some dilapidated apartment with a couch reeking of urine. This isn’t true. It’s possible to embrace different aspects of yourself. You can appreciate the classics while still harbouring a rebellious spirit. You can be goth and enjoy piano music. You can be multifaceted. The world needs to understand that our appearance, musical preferences, or beliefs don’t necessarily align us with stereotypical groups. If someone has an alternative look, it shouldn’t confine them to a specific label. I live by the mantra “live and let live, and stop prying into my life.” ״MASH” is embody a blend of strength and power with softness and romanticism. It’s a kind of tough love.

Can you share any pivotal moments that shaped the brand’s identity and direction and what gap in the fashion industry do you aim to fill?
It’s evident that my brand’s identity reflects my own. A pivotal moment for me was deciding to no longer hide who I am. Admittedly, I’m still in the process, but I’m making gradual progress and revealing more of myself. Each day, I delve into deeper self-reflection, breaking years of silence. “Mash” stands as a bold proclamation to the world, affirming that I have significant thoughts to share, regardless of whether they are universally accepted. My aim is to infuse depth into what is superficial and to bring ‘ornamental fish’ into deeper waters. My goal is to elevate my brand beyond just being a label; I want it to genuinely represent its values, independent of global trends. I aspire to connect with my audience in a direct, unspoken manner—what you understand and feel from my work is what you know. Live by that insight. The brand is dedicated to making a positive impact. We are proudly 100% vegan and firmly oppose animal cruelty. Aligning with this, we offer a 10% discount on purchases to those who adopt pets from local adoption shelters.

How did the founder’s personal experiences or background influence the vision and ethos of MASH?

I reside in a region deeply affected by perpetual conflict. Growing up in a nation with a history of war, but I have always held a firm belief in peace and the inherent goodness in most people across the globe. Even during periods of supposed calm, the undercurrents of conflict remain — be they ideological clashes between political extremes or divides within secular and religious groups. These continuous tensions subtly permeate my work, highlighting the personal struggles of those living under such challenging circumstances. I delve into themes like guilt, post-traumatic experiences, and depression.Themes that are universal to all human beings.
Currently, it’s crucial for me to use my art to advocate for peace and to silently protest against government actions. I firmly reject the idea of retribution or “blood for blood.”

My perspective on the world is predominantly nuanced and grey, yet there remains a streak of optimism within it.
As an individual deeply interested in human psychology, I am fascinated by our darker aspects. We all possess a dark side; the real question is whether we choose to acknowledge and understand it. Ultimately, my vision is to bring compassion to the world, to tell a story of empathy and understanding. To convey that there’s someone who feels what you feel, who is just as bewildered by their thoughts as you are. Life can be confusing and dystopian, yet at the same time, remarkably clear. That duality is precisely what my work aims to capture. It can be orderly yet chaotic. This concept is the essence of “Couture the Chaos.” I take the chaos, organise it, give it a name, and transform it into creation.

You said “with every creation, we aim not only to adorn, but to provoke thought and spark conversations that matter.” What motivated you to use fashion as the medium?

I have always harboured unpopular opinions, feeling like an outsider. Yet, for a long time, I was too scared to voice them, fearing I wouldn’t align with mainstream views. However, a day came when I couldn’t hold back anymore, and my pent-up anger burst forth. I make my voice heard. A sentence that has been bothering me for the past two years is:, “What do you believe in when everyone is watching? And what about when no one is watching?” We live in a world where aligning with the majority is often seen as essential to avoid social backlash. There’s a reluctance to discuss topics that make us uncomfortable or challenge our worldviews. Despite having the freedom of speech, we often hesitate to use it. For me, turning to fashion as a form of expression was not a conscious decision; it just naturally evolved. When I create, I’m able to visualise my thoughts and emotions even before they fully form in my mind. Every significant experience I go through is reflected in my creations. Fashion became my medium spontaneously.
Channelling my thoughts and feelings through my work comes more naturally to me.

How do you feel that your work developed or changed over time? If yes, what caused it?
My work doesn’t change, it matures right along with me. You know that old line, “When you grow up, you’ll understand”? Turns out, it’s not just a clever quip from the grown-up handbook; it actually happens. As time marches on, I find myself refining my opinions, crafting my words more, and boosting my voice

Looking forward, what are your aspirations for MASH in terms of creativity, introspection, and advocacy?
In the future, MASH aims to blend creativity, introspection, and advocacy, rooted in our brand’s core values. We plan to expand our creative horizons by drawing inspiration from diverse cultures and experiences, gained through extensive travel from cosmopolitan cities to untouched locales. Our goal is to capture these varied human experiences in our designs, creating a unified narrative. We’re committed to exploring and challenging stigmas around mental health and the unspoken aspects of human psychology. MASH’s designs are more than aesthetic choices; they’re a deep dive into the soul, encouraging self-expression and introspection. As a 100% vegan brand, advocacy for animal rights and conscious living is central to MASH. We also aim to promote peace and understanding across different cultures and social divides, a commitment that will be evident in our designs and collaborations. Ultimately, MASH is not just a fashion brand but a movement dedicated to creativity, introspection, and advocacy, serving as a beacon for those wanting to express their unique stories and engage in meaningful dialogue about our world.

Mash / Couture The Chaos

Credits:

Brand: Mash / @mash._.__
Interview: Basak saygin / @thewdsy
Editor: Anca Macavei /@ancamacavei

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