Paris Spring 2011 Hussein Chalayan

For spring 2011, Hussein Chalayan opted for a short film instead of the standard runway presentation. His inspiration, and the name of the film, came from sakoku the isolationist policy that was effect in Japan from the 1600's to the 1800's. If anyone can make beautiful clothes from such a non-fashion concept, it is Chalayan; who for a few seasons now has proven his talent by producing wearable clothes without abandoning his original way of thinking. This is certainly one of the times I am thankful for the internet, because being able to see the clothes the way Chalayan intended, as opposed to still images of each look really made a difference in my perception of the collection*.

The veiled looks at the beginning were perhaps the most literal interpretation of sakoku but then there were also a-line underlayers exploding out from under tailored looks that also hinted and things brewing beneath the surface. From those angular lines, a more rounded silhouette emerged, from the thick eyelet ribbons that wrapped around the body to the latter balloon-like dresses whose set-in sleeves were particularly cool. There were beautiful layered flowered chiffon-print dresses that came with puppeteers dressed in black flailing each of the layers around. The finale dresses with the lone geometric shape were off-enough to be cool and yet there was a solemn spirit about them. The short sleeve jackets and chiffon blouses would easily find a way in anyone's wardrobe for a long time to come. It is this balance that makes Chalayan one of the most intriguing designers around.

If you have 15 minutes to spare, I highly recommend watching the movie on Vogue.com.

*Actually, what I would really love to happen is for fashion houses to start releasing dvds of their fashion show archives. Could you even imagine having easy access to all that stuff? Anyways, if this happens soon then you heard it here first! and I hope I get a percentage of the profits.


fashionsdirtylaundry said...

Great review-- THANK YOU for the post. Hussein Chalayan is definitely new classic!

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