Cyprus-born Hussein Chalayan is a long-time habitué at the Paris Fashion Week, where he always charms us with his innovative creations. The newly launched Chalayan fall/winter 2016-2017 ready-to-wear collection perfectly embodies the fashion designer’s experimental spirit and sophisticated heart, although being less dramatic than his previous collections (especially compared to his F/W 2000-2001 collection, wherein he morphed a coffee table into a gown, not to mention the 2007 frock coats that basically built themselves).
The collection was overall pleasantly elegant with its mannish cuts, loads of feminine pleats and sleek materials, with the only exception of a risqué topless look and a few plastic designs embellished with graphic prints of German words. That shouldn’t however be surprising, as Chalayan always loves to intertwine fashion with other forms of art, such as literature, philosophy and especially architecture. He is also extremely prone to including politics and modern cultural references to his proposals, as one of his biggest aims is being interactive with his audience (all of this often results in his catwalk being compared to performance art shows).
For this fall 2016 ready-to-wear collection, Chalayan particularly drew inspiration from architecture and nature, blending what looked like Cubist natural scenarios with urban street-style vibrations. The lineup features both structured and deconstructed pieces, which intricately morph into complex architectural forms that seem to be really complicate to put on. Although mainly featuring sharp-cut silhouettes, Chalayan enjoyed accentuating the fluidity and harmony of the figure too thanks to some ethereally delicate sinuous proposals, which softly wrap the upper parts of the bodies and sensually enhance the shoulders.
Trapeze t-shirt dresses and oversized frocks are the collection’s key-pieces, as they got mixed with the androgynous vibes present and seem to be inspired by the many London or Berlin’s suburban cultures of the Nineties. Off-white backgrounds with ecru designs, dark blue, black and gray are the collection’s main colors, with the only exception of a bright purple hue used to adorn most of the outfits’ platform shoes. Such a choice highlights the collection’s architectural side even more, as it perfectly represents the colors we will probably get used to seeing in the next post-modern futuristic cities.
Not entirely satisfied with his post-modern point of view on fashion, Chalayan focused on post-gender too, designing baggy gauzy trousers that could fit any gender without any kind of restrictions. Other appealing genderless proposals include deconstructed overalls (which also take a quirky athleisure turn), roomy sweaters and, of course, oversized suits.
As for the materials used, Chalayan definitely was less experimental this time in comparison with his previous collections, but did not however miss the chance to add catchy leather inserts and extravagant tape attachments to his closing outfits. Lastly, if you are particularly sensitive to the cold, consider adding one or two of Chalayan’s pieces to your wish list!
Photos courtesy of Vogue