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Hussein Chala-who?

28/02/09

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Hussein Chalayan is one of the most experimental designers working in fashion today. He is renowned for his innovative use of materials, meticulous pattern cutting and a progressive attitude towards new technology. His pioneering work is motivated by ideas drawn from disciplines not readily associated with fashion, crossing between anthropology, history, science, philosophy and technology. His Parisian runway shows function as performance pieces which allow him to express important concepts. The highlights of his illustrious fifteen years in the fashion industry are currently on display at the Design Museum in London, his first major UK exhibition.

Graduating from Central Saint Martins in 1993 with an explosive final year collection which saw him bury his silk gowns into the ground before their decaying catwalk debut, which was then quickly bought by luxury store Browns. Avant garde designer Chalayan has twice been named British Designer of the Year, gone into voluntary liquidation, came back even stronger, and has gone on to produce some of the most radical designs to have ever stormed the catwalk. He regularly extends his ideas outside of fashion into art installations and short films which play host to his futuristic creations where furniture becomes wearable and motorised clothes shift to form different outfits altogether. In Chalayan’s world, anything is possible.

The exhibition begins with his most recent collection, Inertia, which is based upon speed. The dresses form the shape of a high speed crash and represent the speeding up and consequential crash in each piece. The exhibition is a mixture of video recordings, installations (including a Swarovski crystal covered plane wing) and of course the clothes. We journey through small rooms which each reveal something totally unexpected yet absolutely captivating with lifelike mannequins and eerie lighting, it definatly makes for a dramatic exhibition. Yet being the cynic that I am, I couldn’t help but wonder who would wear these clothes? I was torn between thinking that it is all too unwearable and at the same time being in awe at the detail that had been put into even the most unornamented dress. However if LED light dresses and mechanical moving jackets are the future of fashion, then I want to be there.

Hussein is so far ahead of the game, he’s just waiting for the world to catch up.

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For a glimpse into the future visit Chalayan’s exhibition at the Design Museum which runs until the 17th May 2009.

Hannah Murgatroyd

One Comment leave one →
  1. holly permalink
    03/03/09 12:24 pm

    These are some really great photos Hannah, of one of contemporary fashion’s ultimate legends! Wish I could have gone to this exhibition!

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