Article excerpted from inaya404.livejournal.com
Another peer into the past, Chalayan’s S/S 00 showcase was something that will always be remembered and admired. The culmination of functionality, innovation, cheekiness and overall amazing design and execution was something truly unique.
These words can ultimately be used to describe Chalayan himself, although I admit I get a bit lost in regards to him sometimes… so I suppose it’s crucial to take a look back from time to time. I feel he’s descended into being a designer who just makes very cool clothes now… which is fine, I suppose. However, I miss this aspect of him, the unapologetic and all-out artist whose shows really got a point across, a point which was much more deeply rooted than the shock value of unusual clothing.
I digress, though, because there is only love for Chalayan in the end from me. I am just hopeful that he might come full circle one day, using his maturity and wisdom to add fuel to his old fire. His social and political commentary was always apparent but there was some fusion with nature and the human psyche that was extremely enchanting. There was this struggle between the adamant and ambivalence in his old work that I found endearing, and which kept me really looking forward to his evolution.
I feel this collection sums him up, although I did have a hard time choosing between this and a couple of others from the same time frame. But I guess in the end, this is perhaps some of his most recognizable works – and for good reason. Amidst the craziness of his collections, one great thing is that you can find a ton of really humble clothing but still with subtle and beautiful details and this collection has a lot of that. The color palette is also insane… I always loved the bright yellow and reds, they throw a curve ball to the otherwise muted colors. From exaggerated to fitted, the silhouettes here are broad and distinct and there are some great shapes created throughout.
The top and bottom photos in here, above and below the collage, are the two sequences I chose to display. The inflatable red dress is so cool and I’m sure it was wonderful to see in motion.
The first row of photos in this post is probably his most well known creation and the dress that was to be the piece that would set him into the ranks of being a great progressive mind in the realm of designers. This dress is comprised of everything from wonderfully unconventional materials such as fiberglass and metal, all the way to one of the most frivolous materials imaginable: tulle. The functionality is made quite obvious in the series of photos… and the message, like any great art, is left to the viewer to interpret.