September 2, 2011
‘Swarovski Floating Dress’
‘Son of Sonzai Suru’
The innovative designer has launched his first major retrospective exhibition at The Louvre’s ‘Les Arts Décoratifs’ museum in Paris.
The exhibition celebrates Chalayan’s remarkable fashion career, which spans 17 years. It plans to give visitors an insight into the intricate design process that Chalayan applies to every masterpiece, whilst showcasing the end products including; runway clothing, furniture designs, sculptures and new media art. It even gives a rare insight into the thought processes behind each of his collections, with boards of drawings and visual inspirations laid bare.
The event is sponsored by Swarovski, who have sponsored quite a few of Chalayan’s shows over the last 5 years.
As a homage to its sponsors, the show features Chalayan’s 6 Swarovski-studded dresses at the centre of the exhibition. Chalayan describes his collaborations with Swarovski as creating “a new language which combines fashion, performance and design so that we can create something unique every time”.
One innovation that resulted from this collaboration was the Swarovski Floating Dress from the A/W 11 Kaikoku Collection. It was created from polyester resin and fibre glass matting, and then painted in a metallic gold paint with over 50 Swarovski crystal “pollens”.
The dress resembles a shell that the model steps in to. It is also remote controlled, releasing the pollens individually when activated and causing the dress to give the effect of floating. According to Chalayan, the dress symbolises new beginnings as “it can move and go on a journey”.
Noted for his talent for the structure and technological engineering of his garments, Hussein Chalayan also joins the ranks of Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney as a graduate from Central Saint Martins.
His graduate collection, consisting of silk dresses that had been buried in his garden, was quickly bought and displayed in the windows of Browns boutique – illustrating the impact that Chalayan had on his audience from the beginning.
He has since gone on to win Designer of the Year twice, and has even been awarded an MBE for services to fashion. In 2008 he was also appointed as Creative Director at Puma, the sportswear brand. Chalayan also joined forces with Lady Gaga’s stylist Nicola Formichetti to collaborate with the singer at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards in 2011.
The retrospective exhibition opened on 7th July and will run until 21st November 2011. Chalayan’s latest piece – ‘Son of Sonzai Suru’ is also currently being shown at the Royal Academy in London until January 2012.