Starting with the 5th of July of this year, and ending the 13th of November, the Arts Décoratifs is housing a retrospective on the work of a fashion designer that hardly needs an introduction: Hussein Chalayan.
It is with great difficulty that I categorise him under the label of ‘fashion designer’ as his reach covers an entire range of domains, including, but not limited to: special effects, visuals, videos, photography, sculpture, fabric design, furniture design, and more. Indeed, these were all used both in his fashion shows and in his designs, yet it is the way in which he used them in order to express social realities, or political convictions that makes his designs transcend into the realm of art.
Even so, his perfect patterns, exquisite technique, incredible knowledge of fabric, and materials do not allow us to forget that we are looking at a fashion creation still. Just when we think that we are begining to understand a social and/or political statement, Hussein Chalayan uses a cut or a shape that only comes to demonstrate his love for the fashion world and extraordinary fashion skills. His mixing of futuristic ideas with primal symbols, and technical inventiveness with traditional manufacturing results in a work that feel so strangely and surprisingly natural that it can only be the work of a genius.
gif,fashion,paris,Hussein Chalayan
Before Minus Now, S/S 2000
Genometrics A/W 2005 / reflection of short film ‘Absent Presence’ featuring Tilda Swinton
Buried Dress  – part of his graduate collection from Central St. Martin’s ‘The Tangent Flows’ of oxidised silk dresses that he buried in order to see the result of the decomposition. ‘I think the process is the business of the designer, for the people it’s the result that matters, they do not know the process.’
‘Par Avion’ / ‘Airmail’ dress – part of the his first commercial collection. ‘I first used real paper. Then I wanted to find something indestructible, and therefore I use Tyvek, which is synthetic paper.’
‘I am sad Layla’ – a multimedia installation depicting a statue of the Turkish singer Sertab Erener onto which a moving image of her face, while singing, is projected.
‘In the religious code we are de-personificated’.
Ambimorphous – ‘The clothes represent forms called ‘ambimorphes’ where all forms can be transformed/metamorphosed in two opposite directions.’
Panoramic, A/W 1998
One of my favourite of his works: Afterwords
Kinship Journeys A/W 2003
Remote Control Dress / Aeroplane Dress, that is ‘a high-tech triuph that married fashion to technology and technology to the body’

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P.S. : Let’s not forget S/S One Hundred and Eleven

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