Sunday, 13 November 2011

Bring me home ...

Whether a fashion connoisseur or not, you probably have heard the name Hussein Chalayan before.

The internationally regarded fashion designer, graduate of Central Saint Martins, is indeed famous for his innovative and experimental use of materials and technology.
Some of his shows have featured naked models wearing dresses based on the Islamic chador, or decomposed silk dresses that he had buried and exhumed.

In 1999, he famously came up with the idea of a remote-controlled dress made from aviation-strength fibreglass, with panels gracefully lifting at the flick of a switch to reveal gathered tulle petticoats.  

But it was his 2000 Afterwords collection that sealed his reputation. It was inspired by the story of refugees and the idea of having to leave home in times of trouble.

The morphing of home furnitures into dresses, carrying cases, and skirts indeed suggested the necessity of leaving one’s home in a hurry with nothing but the clothes on one’s back. Recalling the plight of Turkish Cypriots (including his own family) who were subjected to ethnic cleansing in Cyprus following its Independence in 1960, Chalayan translated the refugee experience and the desire to hide possessions and take them on departure into garments.


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