Chalayan A/W 2018

Chalayan A/W 2018

Mood board: Hussein Chalayan has never been one to shy away from pressing sociopolitical issues. For AW18, the designer tackled the subject of immigration, and more specifically, the importance of integration. Titled Périphérique (or peripheral) the collection articulated a violent imaginary journey starting from centre of Paris to its banlieues – the suburbs which have come to define unintegrated immigration. What followed was a series of strong, sharp-edged tailored skirt-suits and high-necked blanket coats that gave way to softer, more liberated dresses, tunics and trousers in a placid palette.

Show setting: Chalayan returned to Sadler’s Wells once again this season, presenting his runway show on a large white stage usually intended for contemporary dance performances. The venue was apt, given the carefully choreographed routine, which saw models circle and walk alongside each other, occasionally stopping as though being confronted or interrupted. A video showing a hazy winter’s journey around the outskirts of a town, as seen by a fast moving car or train at a distance, was projected onto the backdrop of the set.

Best in show: Translucent plastic headpieces – some of which were constructed to entirely cover the face like a modern-day gas mask – communicated the idea of putting up a physical barrier within a community. While a procession of harmonious two-tone pleated silk dresses with undulating tulle overlays offered an optimistic conclusion to the show.

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