Around the world in 27 looks. As seasons go, this LFWM has largely made the clothes themselves the focus, letting us judge the clothes rather than slightly contrived cause which far too many designers have been prioritising of late.
For Chalayan, however, I am prepared to look beyond the slightly overwritten concept to discover what could possibly inspire a collection to explore such existential issues. The postcolonial body is, for Chalayan, is a political song of joy and protest that reworks the effects of colonialism on the clothing habits of invaded peoples.
The new collection, staged under a warm sun a stone’s throw from the brand’s English boutique, is a highly refined anthropological exercise that explores the inevitable social and cultural changes that come to be created whenever a people suffers the tragedy of invasion.
The structure of the clothes is soft and graceful, ranging from silk to crisp linen up to a very light cotton, with suggested volumes of draping designed for moving bodies. Attention is thus shifted to the world of dance , a real study area of that cultural syncretism that accompanies a collection where the same models set the pace with their radios. Also the prints are loaded with semiotic intents : the story of ancient and unchanged Japanese rituals are mixed with the instructions of the tango steps, transporting us at the same time in Japan and South America in a journey that makes fashion the key to reading the dramas of history.
Daisy Sells | WRITER