by Penny Martin .

Seating at Hussein Chalayan

I once saw a couple of brilliant books called something like 'Front Row and Back Row' in Colette. I have a feeling they may have been photographed by the late, great Gauthier Galle (someone please write in and tell me if they recall them). Their very simple concept was that each one gave you a sense of what you saw if you were either sat at the front of a catwalk audience or standing at the back. The above image, then, is what you could see from the seventh row at Hussein Chalayan: apologies for the lack of visual information!

Like Gareth Pugh, who based one of the pieces in his London collection on a Chesterfield sofa, Chalayan also took elements from victorian uphostery as a concept that peppered his very sombre collection. As at Dior and Gaultier, the palette was dark and Baroque, running from black tailoring (with Chesterfield button details, fine lines of piping and leather 'armrest collars') through to oxblood red tafetta dresses. A double-layered sleeve, with an 'open vein' slice up the inside of the arms (as seen in a beautiful Kim Novakesque, white jersey dress) created an interesting leitmotiv running through this beautiful sequence of (short) separates.

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