Chalayan A/W 2017
Mood board: Hussein Chalayan staged his skillful A/W 2017 outing, titled ’Act to Form’, at London’s Sadler’s Wells theatre. Fuelled by the current state of political unrest, the London-based designer presented a sombre and subtly defiant collection, informed by the ‘new isolated individuals that the world order is generating’. Rather than addressing the matter with explicit slogans or overt symbols (as was often the case during New York Fashion Week), Chalayan incorporated modest references to the Balkan era of Greek folk culture as a symbol of historical empowerment in order to inspire and uplift his audience.
Scene setting: Kate Bush’s melancholy ballad Misty accompanied this measured but intense affair. Models emerged slowly from the west wing of a blank stage, pausing at the middle to bathe in a single spotlight before exiting. The stark backdrop allowed the clothes to take precedence. Pencil skirts and carrot-shaped trousers came adorned with Greek-inspired wrap belts; a custom jacquard dress bore a print of an Ancient Greek city map layered over a Manhattan grid; and felted cashmere knits topped off the signature house tailoring.
Best in show: Chalayan had masterfully engineered the final six looks with stuffed panels, which the models ripped in half to reveal a deluge of metallic party streamers, feathers and plastic wrapping. The celebration was undoubtedly in jest – a faux party to conclude a politically charged line.