Part artist, part sculptor, part showman, and part fashion designer, Hussein Chalayan has made the fashion performance his consummate medium of expression. Chalayan’s influential work in fashion, since his debut in 1993, has been the subject of innumerable profiles and interpretations and in 2004 a retrospective exhibition marking ten years was staged at the Gröninger Museum in The Netherlands. Five years on, From Fashion and Back, his first solo exhibition in the UK has been presented in London at the Design Museum (see review in this issue). Chalayan is an innovator and an intellectual, pioneering approaches to fashion that draw on areas such as anthropology, science, and technology, and the personal philosophy which informs his own beliefs and identity. Through his fashion show presentations, installations, and film collaborations Chalayan has created memorable spectacles that often comment on the human situation and political circumstances of our times, particularly in relation to his own Turkish-Cypriot ethnicity. Through precise and visionary choreography of an impressive range of collaborators and technical experts, Chalayan expresses concepts often rooted in displacement, trans-migration, and transformation, making personal, cultural, and socio-political statements in addition to creating beautiful objects and fashion for sale. It is these seminal moments of catwalk performance that have become iconic in contemporary fashion—both visually and intellectually. In Chalayan’s hands, the dress becomes emblematic and layered with meanings, whether or not these are perceived and understood by his audience: the personal concept and design development process are essential for the designer.
Hussein Chalayan was born in Cyprus in 1970, and later studied at Central St Martins College of Art & Design, University of the Arts London, graduating in 1993. His graduate collection, The Tangent Flows, was famously covered in iron filings and buried in the garden for weeks before being shown. Since launching his own label, he has twice been named British Designer of the Year in 1999 and 2000.
Just before the Autumn/Winter 2009 collections (February 13, 2009), Sandy Black spoke to Hussein Chalayan about his own practice, designers’ influence, and the wider issues of sustainability in fashion design and manufacturing.
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|Type of Research:||Article|
|Additional Information (Publicly available):|
Sandy Black, Research Interests
Knitwear, fashion and textiles design with particular emphasis on 3 dimensional aspects of design and realisation, incorporating mathematical principles. Inter-disciplinary design in social and cultural context; Innovation in knitwear particularly 3D and seamless construction; Intersection of arts and science with design; Sustainability issues in fashion and textiles.
My current research interests seek to Interrogate Fashion - its practice and design processes. I am developing projects that integrate old and new technologies and seek new ways to approach the design and creation of fashion-related products through the relationship between craft practices and advanced technology. A key concept underpinning this research is the notion developed with the Interrogating Fashion Research Cluster during 2005 of more responsible design that takes into account the wider environmental, ethical, social and individual needs of products and their users.
Drawing on my background in both knitwear design and mathematics, I am involved in personal research which is exploring new forms in the realisation of knitwear, using advanced technologies and based on mathematical concepts of topology.
As principal investigator of the EPSRC/AHRC funded Research Cluster 'Interrogating Fashion' I am bringing together academics, fashion and textile designers, computer and material scientists, artists, musicians and researchers to discuss future ideas and changing paradigms for fashion and accessories in the 21st century. With a focus on practice, process and presentation , the research cluster will explore, through workshops and events during the current year, three overlapping themes:
• Digital Fashion? from craft to mass customisation
• The Fashion Paradox: transcience and sustainability
• Fashion in Context: presentation and display, audience and engagement
|Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed:||RPE,sustainability, design innovation, technology|
|Your affiliations with UAL:||Colleges > London College of Fashion|
Research Centres/Networks > Centre for Sustainable Fashion
|Digital Object Identifier:||doi:10.2752/175693809X469184|
|Deposited By:||Rebecca Mallinson|
|Deposited On:||26 May 2010 10:14|
|Last Modified:||18 Jun 2013 00:16|