Chalayan

AT a time when technology and fashion combined are in the limelight, Hussein Chalayan is very much a designer whose name springs to mind – such is his preoccupation with making his clothes more than they first appear or more than one thing at a time.
He opened his show today with a series of sunglasses that were built into scarves bound around the head: scarf-glasses. It set the tone for his series of ninjas, as he referred to them, and a collection that took its inspiration from North Africa, Spain and Morocco, trees and irrigation channels.
The trees – bitter orange ones to be exact – made for a lovely and very feminine motif. “Naive” and “charming” were words Chalayan used backstage as he told us how much he had enjoyed the texture and shadow balance of this collection.
As always for him, it was an exploration into how to utilise and manipulate space. “I like the idea of the clothes becoming part of the wearer,” he said. And so there of course came said performing pieces: a jacket atop a dress that when taken off became part of the skirt; caped backs that were actually jackets, hanging as they would on the back of a door; spliced suiting that looked like it was levitating around the space (no doubt exactly what Chalayan had in mind); and a bathing suit with an entire tux piggy-backing its wearer.
It was precision, as always, and right on cue in terms of where fashion’s ongoing discussion with technology is going right now.

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