Hussein Chalayan’s showing for his Chalayan fall/winter 2017-2018 collection at London Fashion Week came at the end of a 16-year hiatus of LFW shows! After very close to two decades, Chalayan presented a collection that outwardly expressed the inner battle of individuality and the effect the current corporatized, digital age has on individuality that he has been contemplating.
After such a long hiatus, it is no surprise that he chose to go introspective with his artistic presentation. According to Chalayan, he found himself concerned: “I was worried nobody was going to come and see it!” But that would not keep him from making his statement.
He also said his collection was about exploring the concept and idea of the “new, isolated individuals that the current world order is generating.” Touches of Grecian elements also found their way into the collection thanks to inspiration from Greek folk culture and the sculptures of Ancient Grecian times.
The color palette used was earthy, natural and a bit sobering, but done in wool and other similar materials. The tailoring was exquisitely done; everything looked so perfectly shaped, the silhouettes clear even in the darker surroundings. There were cloaks in this collection – cloaks to me always have a bit of whimsy to them though here they did nothing to uplift the mood – it wasn’t necessary.
However, the draping, the shape of the hoods will always be a feature from this collection that I personally really loved. Towards the end of the show was a draped set of robes that was confusing in the elements of what it was, but beautiful and possibly the most visually complex piece of the entire show, and it really made an impression.
The pieces were compelling and beautiful making the Chalayan fall 2017 ready-to-wear collection as a whole much of the same. The soft volume in a lot of the pieces was magnificent and unexpected, not to mention brilliantly done.
The collection was shown through a choreographed beauty at Sadler’s Wells, which has history with Chalayan early on. The runway presentation was full of interested parties, packed with those interested in Chalayan’s work. Personal opinions aside, the crowd seemed adamantly interested, even enraptured in the collection, nonplussed by the party poppers in the show, which Chalayan relished, calling the explosion of glitter and confetti tinsel and feathers “Tacky Stuff’.
He designed the use of the party poppers with duality, suggesting both a protest and a celebration with their use. Regardless of flair of the party poppers, they could not touch the flare of the clothes. It was an impressive, full and well-rounded show that was full of sophisticated pieces that worked together for a fully conceptualized runway presentation.
Photos courtesy of Vogue