Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Dial H C for Fashion

When talking about fashion, the question I probably get asked the most is who my favorite designer is. That's probably because I often ramble on about the reasons why I love fashion, somehow names don't come up that easy. However, I do have an ultimate favorite: Hussein Chalayan. Don't bother trying to pronounce it right, in the world of fashion they understand who you're talking about when you utter a hesitant 'Hoessijn Galajan', believe me, I should know. 

You're talking about a designer who manages to bring together art and fashion in amazing creations. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Chalayan is, that he succeeds in commercializing his avant-garde collections.

Hussein Chalayan was born in 1970. Allthough his roots lie in the Turkish part of Nicosia, Cyprus, he moved with his parents to England in 1978. There, he studied at the famous Central Saint Martins in London. His graduate collection consisted of clothes he had buried in his yard and dug up again. This subversive action would proof to be characteristic of his vision on fashion.

One of his best fashion collections, in my opinion, was the spring-summer 2001, where the show took a surprising turn during the final when the models began smashing the glass dresses of their colleagues. 
Or how a fashion show can transform into a conceptual art performance in a matter of seconds.

Hussein Chalayan. Spring Summer 2001

His most recent exploit was the presentation of his spring-summer 2012 collection at the Paris Fashion week. As in some of his earlier shows he himself took part of the spectacle. This time as a waiter serving the models champagne. With these types of cameo appearances, he is starting to earn his name as the Hitchcock of fashion. This great cineaste appeared in 39 of his 52 surviving films. Just as Hitchcock, Chalayans personality is an important part of his work.

Hussein Chalayan. Spring Summer 2011
Hussein Chalayan. Spring Summer 2011

Chalayans importance has been underrated for a long time. Currently the artist is being honored by a retrospective of his work in Les Arts Decoratifs in Paris. Deservingly so. 
Regrettably I've not been able to go myself. But for the lucky ones who have planned a visit to La douce France, the exposition will run till December 11th of 2011.

I wish you a lot of creating, learning and living,

The Mere Alchemist


  1. Coincidentally your favorite sister is going to Paris (9-12 december). Come with! :)

  2. Having so much fun reading your blog!

  3. Negenduust represent me dunkt. Toch een beetje.

  4. Thanks for all the nice and encouraging comments!