Hussein Chalayan: Innovative, Fantastic, Beyond Avant-Garde Designs

 Born in Cyprus in 1970, Hussein Chalayan is considered to be one of the most intellectual and experimental fashion designers of today. Far out isn't far enough, either in definition or in scope, as his award-winning vision speaks of realms that are sometimes dark and always dynamic. Some of his more memorable creations include a wooden skirt made from a coffee table, a robot dress comprised of Swarovski crystals, apparel inspired by the structure of airplanes and paper dresses that can be folded into envelopes.


Coffee Table Skirt: Source: Twitter.comCoffee Table Skirt: Source:


He once said of his envelope dress, which he created in 2001 : "I was interested in investigating the idea of creating a cycical scenario, where people react to clothes and the end result. I like the idea of it being  interactive."


Chalayan Dress Design: Source: Design Boom.comChalayan Dress Design: Source: Design


The life and works of Hussein Chalayan


Hussein Chalayan: Source: Wikipedia.orgHussein Chalayan: Source:


Chalayan moved to the United Kingdom with his family back in 1978. Even as a child he was fascinated with the world of fashion, which came quite naturally for him. In his own words: "My attraction to fashion was very instinctive, and had to do with my excitement about anything to do with the body and the female form, which to me represents power and magic...It's the ultimate symbol."


The Tangent Flows: Source; Medeafp.blogspot.comThe Tangent Flows: Source;


Chalayan's career as a fashion designer began back in the late 1980s after he completed a course at Warwickshire School of Arts, and began studying in 1989 at London's prestigious Central Saint Martins where he completed a BA  in Fashion Design. His extraordinary style and designs soon earned him the reputation of beng the most radical student in his class. In 1993, his first collection, The Tangent Flows, presented decomposed silk dresses that he had buried in his own garden and then resurrected and fitted with iron fillings.

Brown's Boutique purchased the collection in its entirety  and in 1994 Hussein launched his own company, Cartesia Ltd and his ready-to-wear line. The collection was wel-received at London's West Soho Galleries that spring and made its debut at London Fashion Week. From 1998 to 2001, Chalayan served as a design consultant for TSE, a New York knitwear label and after a dark period of financial setbacks after his contract was not renewed, he returned in full force to the fashion world via a new arrangement with Italian clothing manufacturer, Gibo.

Other collections

Today, Chalayan's highly original and influential designs are focused on innovative ways to work with diverse textures, with an emphasis on what he has named "the language of leather." His first brand collaboration with leather specialist VSP was recently unveiled at a new space in the historic district of Paris known as the Marias. Hussein said of this achievement: "I like the fact that this is not your normal fashion collection.Not only is there the attraction of real craftsmanship and know-how, I think we share a sense of playfulness..."


From the Leather Collection: Source:BeautyStylo.comFrom the Leather Collection:


Always pushing the envelope further and further, his vision for winter-wear now extends to using leather  with shearling or wool with shearling on a dress that can decompress into a tulip skirt. Spring and summer wear   is highlighted by shades of stone, white and pale pink, and the blending with canvas and double-ended zippers.


An innovative force in the world of fashion, the talents of Hussein Chalayan have been widely recognized although he believes his mission and his vision have beenmisunderstood in the past. He was awarded a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 2006 and the London College of Fashion named him an honorary fellow in July of 2011.Celebrities have sported his creations Bjork chose hs work for her 1995 European tour and Lady Gaga wore a pair of the label's chiffon trousers and wide-brimmed straw hat back in 2009.

There's so muh more to this man and his contemporary designs.

So much more than just avant-garde.

 Closing thoughts on fashion:

A woman's dress should be like a barbed-wire fence: serving its purpose without obstructing the view. ~ Sophia Loren

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