Hussein Chalayan is known to be one of fashion’s most experimental designers, and his collaborations with Swarovski are regarded as some of the fashion world’s most innovative.
Remember his LED ensemble for Fall-Winter 2007, which glittered with 15,600 LEDs and Swarovski crystals, and his floating Kaikoku dress of FW11, which drifted down the runway and released 50 crystal pollen-like spores into the air?
Now the man and the brand have come together again in celebration of their 10 years of creative collaboration, along with a couple of other key milestones: The opening of Chalayan’s first flagship store in London and the launch of Swarovski’s 120th year anniversary book published by Rizzoli, in which the designer is featured.
The result, shown at Paris Fashion Week earlier this month, is suitably stunning. Inspired by Chalayan’s recent trip to Cuba, it’s a fun yet cerebral collection of clothes that pay tribute to the Latin American country via everything from the designer’s own brand of cigars tucked into starched cotton jumpsuits, to Swarovski crystal coconuts.
The showstopper? This – where two models were soaked under showers that melted away their army-inspired coats to reveal sparkling, sassy frocks.
“I had the idea of using water, because of course Cuba is surrounded by the sea and I like the idea of representing a military invasion as something playful – that it could melt and reveal something playful underneath,” Chalayan said.
Next up, North Korea?