10. 27. 2006
Wearables hit fashion week
Ever since Paris Fashion Week ended in this month, I've been obsessed with Hussein Chalayan's 2007 Spring collection. Thoughts which linger long after seeing a collection are a good sign of its strength.
Chalayan has built a reputation on innovative uses of material, while blending the boundaries of fashion and art (he was included in last year's Venice Biennal.) However, Chalayan also has (often less talked about) distinct ideas about fashion itself, including making interconnections between various fashion eras.
This season, he took this idea to its literal and logical extreme by having dresses which physically transform. Collaborating with 2d:3d, he created these one-off prototype dresses with embedded motors, microcontrollers and microswitches. A Victorian-style gown was presented whose hemline automatically rose and neckline dropped to shape shift into a flapper hemline. A skirt also lifted and its opaque material became reflective. The movements ranged from smooth to abrupt, which were played up for dramatic effect.
One of the more clever pieces was a dress which retracted into a wide rimmed hat, leaving the model naked and viewers wondering if we had just witnessed the future or the Emperor's New Clothes. My money is on the future.