Something Different – Hussein Chalayan
Innovation is a word that’s being given to almost anything new in the spring/summer style market these days. And with a rush of gimmicky garments for those boys who really do love their toys it’s almost becoming rare to find someone who really – and I mean really – ticks that outside-the-box box.
But one of the fashion innovators who has really caught my style gaze is Hussein Chalayan: he’s the British-Turkish-Cypriot designer famous for managing Puma’s creative direction and he’s just pushed the brand with a collection that explores not only the boundaries of style but also the experience of shopping itself.
Not only is he heading outside the box but Hussein is heading outside the whole freaking store! We’re talking a combination of fashion and performing arts, all under one roof at Oxford Street’s Selfridges.
The installation launched ten days ago and is based on the idea of “travel”… Chalayan has designed the installation to reflect the constantly changing landscape you see when trekking the Alps or trailing up the Amazon.
So, walking around the triangular-shaped installation you’ll see a wall of black, then a wall of white and then a reflective 3M Scotchlite finish – the image trickery is achieved by viewing the setup from a different perspective, with each side of each triangular pillar painted with another colour.
But the innovation doesn’t stop there. Each piece of clothing is also attached by magnetic hangars and customers are encouraged to whip out their smartphones as well: simply scan the QR codes on the garments and you’ll get an online insight into what inspired Hussein to create them.
But what about what’s on the rack? It’s mainly about getting a metropolitan lifestyle on the go, hence Puma’s collection name: Urban Mobility. For men it’s about the loose silhouettes with slim-cut or slouchy trousers. The jackets might look a little over-sized but only add to the idea of structure and shadow that the label is looking for.
Monochrome colours and Burn-Through patterns feature, while texture, form and pattern are key to Hussein’s fashion-technical style.