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Not many shows begin with Lisa Rinna posing in a barely-there look from the new collection down a side street in Bow, but that’s how Dilara Findikoglu AW23 kicked off. Inside the venue – a 19th-century church turned community space – Rinna sat side-by-side Bimini as the Turkish designer debuted a line of typically sensual looks.Photography Morgane Maurice

Spoon-bending mystic Uri Geller is finally getting his fashion flowers

From Dilara Findikoglu to Hodakova and Marine Serre, the cult telepath could be seen across the AW23 collections

Fashion loves to pluck cult figures from the fringes of bygone subcultures and repackage them as luxurious anti-heroes: think Soo Catwoman, Leigh Bowery, Annemarie Schwarzenbach, and Siouxsie Sioux (to name but a few). These are precisely the kinds of people that would have spent their lives deliberately shunning the mainstream only to be rehabilitated by high-end designers decades later. There’s an irony to all of this, to appropriate countercultural aesthetics without participating in their oppositional lifestyle demands. The word “subculture” implies rebellion and authentic participation generally has very little to do with expensive clothing, so when designers across the AW23 season began to pilfer from the image of alt-sorcerer Uri Geller – who was a pivotal figure in the cutlery scene in the 2000s – it tracks that they wouldn’t also be bending spoons with their mind, too. 

It is yet another example of fashion’s tireless capitalism greed, I’m afraid. Poor Geller! The self-proclaimed telepath, who once warped an eleven-tonne spoon with grey matter alone! Was it not enough that he was carted onto an American television set and forced to bend a table’s worth of silverware to a “hostile” audience? No. His life’s work was going to be replicated in dresses and belts and skirts and bralettes. This season, the runes of Geller’s mind palace mapped across Dilara Findikoglu’s offering, where antique knives were shapen into skeletal corsetry. Hodakova Larsson’s collection – where spoons (his precious crooked spoons) were hooked into leather bags, stilettos, and white columns – also hummed with his influence, calling to mind his custom-built 1976 Cadillac, which took him six months to rivet with 2,000 pieces of contorted tableware. 

The whole thing presumably started when Jeremy Scott embedded knives and forks onto nip-waisted blazers and ball gowns for AW22, giving way to Marine Serre, who strung metal serving plates into disc belts for her AW23 collection. And then there was Coperni and Y/Project, both of which presumably used Geller’s occult practice to clumps of silver into moulded hand gestures. Did IB Kamara also call on the TV mystic to festoon his model’s faces in barbed rivets for Off-White? It wouldn’t be beyond the realm of possibility to suggest that Lisa Fält’s melded-spoon collection was also a direct descendant of Geller’s witchcraft. “Spoons are beautiful art pieces,” Geller told us in 2019. “Every spoon has a gorgeous shape, they’re very sensual and you feed your body with it. You put it in your mouth, and of course spooning! I don’t want to elaborate more on what spooning means…”

Maison Margiela would agree, having made bracelets from recycled forks for its AW01 collection, as would Dolce & Gabbana, which printed spoons and forks and knives onto silk gowns for AW18. Even Versace, is in on the act, selling necklaces with tiny little “caviar” spoons. This is all getting a little speculative, of course, but it’s worth remembering that fashion takes all sorts – and perhaps Geller is finally being recognised for his unlikely impact on style. After all, who is he if not the very embodiment of a brand like Paco Rabanne? Twisting unconventional materials into new and previously unexplored forms? There is a real-life kinship there, too – both were close friends with Salvador Dalí, who gifted Geller a crystal orb that once belonged to Leonardo da Vinci. “At the time I didn’t believe him,” he said. “Until they discovered a new da Vinci painting of a man holding a crystal orb; maybe he was telling the truth after all…” 

These days, Geller is directing his paranormal abilities towards the UK government and has threatened to blow up a sewage tract should it fail to host a second EU referendum. So while fashion will continue to mine culture’s lesser-known underdogs, which designer will be brave enough to commit themselves to the cause and burst the pipes of Parliament with their brainpower alone?