The conceptual king
When talking about Turkish fashion designers, the first name that springs to mind is Hussein Chalayan, although he was born in Cyprus and then based in London where he went to college at Central Saint Martins. Let’s talk about the universality of this artist, one of the first of his generation to treat fashion, body and clothing as concepts. Announcing his journey with his graduation collection “Buried Dresses”, his pieces were created from fabrics and wires that he placed into holes in the mud to oxidize.
At only 25, he was already on show at London Fashion Week, with a collection based on mathematical formulas. In the spring of 1998 he paraded a series of models, the first of which was completely naked, and the others gradually wore a little more, until the final one was in a hijab. In the fall of 2000, he designed a rigid telescopic skirt like a canteen cup, named the “Coffee Table skirt”. In the spring of 2000, his models were engulfed in balloon dresses made of tight bouquets of pink tulle, and in 2001, his models wore rigid dresses and tops that were then broken up with pestles, revealing them to be nude. In the spring of 2007, a model was literally undressed on stage by the blast on her self-destructing dress. The same year, he also designed a dress that served as a screen for a video projection.
Each time, the creator, given an OBE by Queen Elizabeth, said to himself that these extreme experiments had to be stopped, but his audacity prevailed. A multidisciplinary artist, Chalayan is part of the collections of leading fashion and costume museums around the world. He has collaborated with Björk, and has also created several dresses for Lady Gaga, including an “egg” dress from which the pop star hatched on the stage of the Grammy Awards on February 14, 2011.