2019 marks Hussein Chalayan’s 25th year in the fashion industry, a huge milestone for any designer. To celebrate this, the brand chose to present their Spring Summer 2020 collection in a non-traditional format.
Away from the comfort of the indoor runway and the bellowing music that comes with it, Chalayan showcased 27 looks on a side street just outside of their Mayfair store. The location didn’t allow for loud music, so the models were given 80’s inspired boomboxes. Sound drifted in and out with each model often giving the crowd only seconds of sound at a time leaving an eerie silence in-between.
The collection was entitled “post-colonial body” and was inspired by dance and movement groups across countries that have been colonised by western forces. A key focus was placed on those from Japan and South America. Personally, I didn’t get this reference when I saw the collection in person, however, after looking back at imagery, I can see the references in the structured design of the clothing, often creating pockets of air in the trousers. The designer varied from looser fitting clothing inspired by drapes and tighter clothing that displayed the physique more clearly.
The structure of the clothing was the most interesting part of this collection, with other elements of the designs not really pushing any boundaries. An extremely limited colour palette was used, especially for a summer collection, with white, nude (or as the brand called it “mushroom”) and blue dominating across all looks. It almost felt like a resort collection which was no doubt helped by the good weather, had it been raining it may have provided me with a different experience and opinion overall. Stripes also played a dominant role throughout, in over half of the designs there was some form of stripe, one particular blue and white style resembled that of a sailor’s uniform.
Although this collection wasn’t anything we didn’t expect, the collection still stood out amongst the crowd at fashion week. The way in which the garments flowed as the models moved was a highlight, the care and attention to the structure was unmatched. The sheer number of stripes also emblazoned the collection into my brain, I’m not sure if it was the repetition but I couldn’t forget about Chalayan.
Maybe it was the lack of colour or perhaps it was the rare piece of sartorial elegance, most likely a bit of both, but this collection sure was a unique moment across the weekend.
Here are the latest photos straight off the runway from Chalayan SS20, at London Fashion Week Mens.
Stay tuned for Issue 6 in July for our editors full LFWM review, but until then, enjoy the imagery…