Friday, 1 March 2013


As we move on from the unbridled opulence that is Milan Fashion Week, there are huge expectations for the major players that will show in Paris Fashion Week. Fashion heavyweights such as Chanel, Margiela and Givenchy are still yet to show, so I have chosen to focus on one of my personal favourite designers of all time - Hussein Chalayan. Often lauded as one of the most innovative designers to work in the industry, many focus on his past innovations, such as the LED dress and the ingenious "table dress" which have earned him the respect that he now demands. However, the designer's eponymous label is still going as strong as ever and continues to draw in huge crowds at Paris Fashion Week.

The quintessential beauty of many of Chalayan's designs is that he uses a predominantly monochrome colour palette and chooses to use subtle sculptural details to attract the eye as opposed to bold colour. Although the designer flirts with prints in this collection, the first few looks centre around the different shades of grey and showcase a chic minimalist aesthetic that would slot into the wardrobe of any chic Parisian. It's the small details - perhaps an undone zip or an oversized collar that differentiate the designer's work from that of his contemporaries. This collection makes it evident that his tailoring is immaculate - from the precise ruching of a cigarette trouser to the asymettric zip of a leather jacket, it is the small touches that show how well Chalayan understands the female form.

When Chalayan does use prints, the results are stunning. For example, one dress gives the illusion of print, but upon closer look we see that the dress consists of small flowers individually applied to give the impression of a 3D print, a move which shows almost couture-like levels of attention to detail. Another features an almost holographic print, made up of laser-like flashes of green, purple and numerous other colours and perhaps providing one of the best examples of how to work the futuristic look that so many designers have favoured this season. Half-zip dresses and coats showcase the offbeat aesthetic that have established the designer as a true legend of this industry, and this collection goes a long way in proving that Hussein still has more to give.

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