İstanbul to Tucson, the Journey of the Princess Dress


With the devastating news from Turkey still so freshly on our minds, it felt appropriate to pay homage to a little shop by the name of Kunupa Butik operating on the so-called Asian side of İstanbul in Kadıköy. Towards the end of last month, this wonderful shop decided to reach out to me via her Instagram, introducing herself by explaining that she was a seamstress who designs and sews retro-styled clothing and then sends it out to various brick-and-mortar stores in Turkey, and that she was hoping to move to America around New Years and wondering if I had any shops in the United States that I could suggest for her to work with.

I was more than happy to suggest shops to her that I know of (though my knowledge of smaller local shops is woefully limited), and she offered to send me one of the dresses I fell in love with upon scanning through her work. Thinking back to the journey this dress took only a week before the terrible events at the İstanbul Atatürk Havalimanı makes the gown all the more precious yet bittersweet to me.


Not only is it a tie back to my İstanbulite family (who is luckily all safe and sound), but also helps showcase that the Middle East isn’t defined by terrorism and terrorist attacks, or foreign Orientalized perceptions of the geographical area as an ironically helplessly dangerous region. As all around the world, creative endeavors thrive no matter the tragedies that surround us, and Kunupa Butik is a wonderful representation of a small, thriving shop seeking to grow her business internationally with beautiful designs.

So without further ado, I present to you the dress that travelled round the world to make its way onto my blog: Kunupa Butik’s Prenses Elbisesi (or, in English, the Princess Dress).


The reasoning behind calling this gown the “Princess Dress” is quite obvious to me as the moment I saw photos of the number, I was reminded of a retro Snow White. Though I’m not generally a polka-dot fan, and haven’t worn a skirt above my knees in a very long time, this style struck me for a whole slew of reasons. The first was that the skirt featured was obviously quite full and would easily accommodate a petticoat (in this outfit’s case, Pinup Girl Clothing’s Canvas Underskirt). The second was that the shades used weren’t the typical blue and lipstick red found on so many reproduction gowns, but a blue paired with a deep orange-y, burnt sort of red I find very reminiscent of Turkish tiles.


And the final trait that made me truly fall in love was that AMAZING collar! I’ve been looking everywhere for off the shoulder tops and gowns, and Kunupa’s gown more than fit the bill! Not only was it off-the-shoulder, but the material draped around reminded me so much of gorgeous gowns from the 50s I can only dream about.


This wonderful collar helps dress up a gown and add a unique flair without taking away from the wearability of it, and I’m so happy to have this piece in my wardrobe.


And although I’ve paired my outfit today with my favorite Belle Disney pin, you can bet I’ve got plans to wear it for a Snow White Disneybound! The soft, flexible yet sturdy material makes it ideal for use around a theme park or any other kind of heavy use while the quality of the gown in general assures me that this is an item that will last.

If you’d like to keep tabs on this shop, you can head to these links:



Or email her at:


Miss Lark Bahar