Hussein Chalayan’s New Job

Published January 3, 2014

ABOVE: A LOOK FROM CHALAYAN’S S/S 2007 COLLECTION

Madeline Vionnet‘s namesake label, helmed by creative director Goga Ashkenazi, will see an infiltration of new design inspiration this January at Haute Couture Fashion Week in Paris. Vionnet has tapped Hussein Chalayan to design the third season of Vionnet‘s haute, ready-to-wear Demi-Couture collection.
 
How Chalayan‘s vision will fuse with the heritage of Vionnet is hard to predict. Chalayan is, after all, a designer who has dabbled with LED dresses and avant-garde, molded-latex construction, constantly taking art as narrative and sculpture to new heights. The designer’s fascinations with architecture and technology are omnipresent in his collections, and seem to be integral to Ashkenazi‘s decision to recruit Chalayan. If Ashkenazi‘s ballot of support for the way Chalayan‘s “work travels outside the traditional confines of fashion” is any indication, Chalayan will be bringing much of his trademark unbound aesthetic to Paris on January 21. 
 
In the past few years, the talented Turkish-Cypriote Londoner has shown his work  at the Design Museum in London and the Musée des Arts Decoratifs in Paris. In a sort of telling symmetry, Madeline Vionnet‘s designs were also exhibited at the Musée des Arts Decoratifs two years prior.
 
When we spoke with Chalayan in early 2009, we asked him about his outlook in design and in life going forward, to which he responded, “To edit our lives, be more selective with whom we spend time and what we spend our money on.” Chalayan‘s design commitment to Vionnet and January’s Demi-Couture runway show may be the manifestation of just that.