Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Hussein Chalayan

The work of the highly progressive and multi-disciplinary fashion designer Chalayan, spanning the realms of art, architecture, philosophy, anthropology, politics, science, natural history. Of turkish cypriot descent, his work conveys a personal narrative unfamiliar to traditional fashion territory, selecting often unusual materials to construct forms that articulate socio-political themes such as cultural identity, displacement and migration. Above are his 'Airmail Dresses' made of paper and carrying personal messages and photos. These can be folded up and posted. Below are images from his 'Kinship Journey' collection which, correspondent to the collection's name, explore the notions of comfort and flight.

The theme of migration is evoked by the hard moulded plastic 'Airplane Dress' below, featuring motorised parts similar to those of a plane wing, which reveal contrastingly soft tulle underlayers reminiscent of feathers. There could be a play between science and nature in this juxtaposition (man-made and natural flight), or perhaps it suggests the hard exterior one needs to survive migration. An armour against the unknown.

See his work on show at the Design Museum from this weekend

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