Chalayan Spring Summer 2012 Review

So Hussein Chalayan goes under just Chalayan now. Why did he drop Hussein? More palatable to a Western market? It seems strange that after all these years he's decided to change it. I could probably Google it and find an explanation. Okay I just Googled it. Apparently it's "for the sake of brand identity and consumer ease". Umm okay, whatever. He's also doing a lower priced diffusion line called Grey Label aaaand he's doing pre-collections too so he's really shaping up his brand identity which is sensible.
This collection was in some ways a best-of. There were references to his past collections such as the Turkish embroideries, flight, and as always mind-blowing drape and pattern cutting. So many of his clothes are deceptively simple but once you get up close you'll have an aneurysm just trying to figure out how the fuck he made something.
The biggest challenge for avant garde designers is when they want to cross over into fully fledged wearable clothes. Sometimes it's difficult to meld out-there concepts with everyday clothes. Viktor & Rolf are a good example of designers who I think have had less successful results from making that jump but Chalayan is working well because the clothes don't look diluted.


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