We do not have many taboos when we want to talk about what is going on in the fashion industry. This monster business is about breaking rules, audacity, sometimes it is a bit too much, and it is like "how far can we go to showcase showstopper looks!?" But it is just an image that is far from the idea of a designer. Talking about taboo for us is like avoiding to chat about the designers we are deeply in love with, because we have so much respect. It is a bit strange to acknowledge we are sometimes a bit shy to reveal our favourites, especially when it comes to the worksof Alexander McQueen, and even if we want to pay a tribute the task is so big. "Too much love" like James Murphy used to sing. How can we talk about McQueen Collections which look like Art with a big A? That is our sweetest taboo! When fashion looks like Art, it seems unreachable! In the 90's Hussein Chalayan used to present his collection in art gallery, it was not art at all, but something more that took fashion out of the beaten tracks. It is like giving another substance, writing a different story and also bringing the classic runway somewhere else. Chalayan is a great storyteller like McQueen was and definitely our sweetest taboo.
It is not a crime and we are not afraid anymore to focus only on Chalayan FW 2000 Afterwords,
presenting in Sadler's Wells Theater in London. Thinking about Chalayan's work, it sounds like a cliché to refer to this collection, but you cannot talk about Chanel without the tweed suit. For us Afterwords is the most evocative collection among all, even if we cannot forget the buried dresses, the remote control dresses and the metamorphosis dresses.
"Inspired by the exodus of refugees and the horror of being deported during war, Afterwords is a reference to how Cypriot Turkish had gone through an ethnic cleansing in Cyprus. Chalayan explores how persons react when facing war and their needs to hide or carry their belongings during their exodus. He displays this collection in a white minimalist space transformed into a living room with four armchairs, a table, a flat screen TV and a shelf full of things. First, an ordinary family come to the stage: a mother, a father, a grandmother and children. Then, thanks to a hidden door, models appear clad in a simple way (at first sight) and start to grab one by one the objects in the room, putting them in the pockets of their clothes made especially for this occasion. At last, models clad with grey dresses come into the room, take away the armchair covers to dress themselves up with. A last model comes into a wooden table that she spreads around her legs and waist transforming it into a voluminous skirt. Once folded, the armchairs become suitcase, models leave the stage and the white room is left empty and lifeless."
It is a highly minimalist and screaming utilitarian wardrobe beyond the striking and tearing inspired story behind Afterwords. The wounded bustier blue tulle dress, the camo black ballerina dress, the multi-functional coat with its large pockets, all the wardrobe combines the idea of metamorphosis, something that can be transformed and adapted to another level, and in a way a certain sophistication. All these looks are very edgy, chic and clean, even stunningly simple, showing a huge work on the cut, allowing armchair covers to be something more.
As a matter of fact, fabric is not only a piece of material, but it is taken and articulated for its raw and natural attribute. All the materials are deconstructed, to be understood and explored. The creation is not limited to traditional fabrics. A dress made of wood or a suitcase made of armchair. The border between art and fashion, between design and innovation is no longer existing here. Chalayan has the talent and the quality to create clothes with too much design that looks so simple and unique.
Clothes with too much design are just clothes that are made with too much passion and audacity. It is somehow clothes that look like art, but is it art after all ? We are not really sure anymore.