Turkish Cypriot Hussein Chalayan’s double-duty dresses are sensual and slightly sustainable: two-in-one haute couture arrives in a single shipment. London-based designer Chalayan unveiled a line of tranformative clothing in the runways of Paris Fashion Week not long ago. Without any help from stylists and dressers, these kinetic clothes actually morph before your eyes into completely different looks. Check out the videos below.
His Paris show featured garments with built-in technology that caused necklines to deepen, skirts to balloon, and floppy hats to slowly hug the models’ beautiful faces, but also included simpler frocks that depend on simple tailoring to transform. A single tug to a neckline releases shoulder-line snaps: a top layer of material cascades down the body, revealing a different underlayer. A new full-length outfit is magically created!
This Black Line collection also features peeling wall prints in 3D textures on dresses and trousers. According to dezeen magazine, Chalayan says he developed the collection around the “concepts of disembodiment and metamorphosis”.
The designer has stated that the top layers are “like the alter egos of the garments beneath, floating above them as if they are about to leave but never completely going, like a spirit reluctant to escape the body”. Sounds dangerously close to star-chitect talk, which makes some sense, as Chalayan is as much a fine artist as a designer of pricey duds for the ladies.
At university in 1993, he buried his garments in his back garden before exhuming them to include in his graduate collection. An instant sensation, that whole collection was purchased by a London luxury goods store. His work’s been exhibited at the Istanbul Modern, Victoria & Albert Museum, Tate Modern, and Venice Biennale and he’s dressed iconic singers Lady Gaga and Bjork.
In early 2008, in collaboration with Swarovski Crystal, Chalayan designed a series of dresses illuminated by laser LEDs, his riff on the electrical nature of the human form.
Peeling clothes appeal to you? You’ll be peeling off more than a few shekels to cover the tab. Past seasons’ garments from this designer can be found online, on retailer Net-A-Porter as example, with a basic top selling for about $1200. Check out his website for a list of retailers and a better look at the full collection.