Considered by many to be one of fashion’s more creative geniuses, Hussein Chalayan was recently named Creative Director of Sport Fashion for PUMA with his first collection for Puma launching Summer 2009.
The title retrospective exhibit at London’s Design Museum, January 22-May 17 2009, will be the first comprehensive presentation of Hussein Chalayan’s work in the UK. Spanning fifteen years of experimental projects, the exhibition explores Hussein Chalayan’s creative approach, his inspirations and the many themes which influence his work such as cultural identity, displacement and migration.
Exhibits will include ‘Afterwords’ which explores the notion of ‘wearable, portable architecture’ in which furniture literally transforms itself into garments (set of 4 images, left, Fall 2000 Collection); ‘Airborne’ bringing the latest LED technology to fashion design with a spectacular dress consisting of dazzling crystals and over 15,000 flickering LED lights and ‘Readings’ a dress comprising of over 200 moving lasers presenting an extraordinary spectacle of light (top image).
Presenting fashion as a site of exploration and as expressions of concepts, Hussein Chalayan challenges preconceived notions of what clothing can mean, rather than as garments with only functionality in mind. Motivated by ideas and disciplines not readily associated with fashion, Hussein Chalayan’s pioneering work crosses between architecture, design, philosophy, anthropology, science and technology.
From Chalayan’s Spring 2009 namesake collection, designs were conceived with notions of speed, automobiles, and crashes. To quote Mr. Chalayan, "It’s about the speed in our lives and how it can only result in a crash." Seems fairly prescient considering the times. See Style.com for whole collection.
I first wrote about Hussein Chalayan on 2modern’s design blog re his collaboration with Level One Vodka for the Level One Vodka Tunnel on world tour throughout the second half of 2008.
Chalayan is originally from Cyprus and a graduate of London’s famed Central St. Martins College of Art and Design.