Oct 16, 2018 | By Nigel Taylor
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After collections featuring wooden tables that morph into dresses and garments engineered to look like the model was traveling at warp speed, one has come to expect the extreme at a Hussein Chalayan show. The season, however, the designer turned a corner and presented a surprisingly wearable collection that channeled his proclivity for innovation on a much more subtle level. Chalayan played with the classics, placing an asymmetric placket on a white woven tee and hacking off the sleeves of a blazer and elongating it to skim the thigh. Blue and white striped pieces looked bound for the French Riviera, as in a puff-sleeved bodysuit topped with a button-up denim pencil skirt. In a surrealist flourish, he sent out a series of white jersey dresses (and one blazer) that were embellished with white 3-D hands that seemed to be actively shaping the fabric — perhaps these represented the designer’s connection to his work, or a reminder that the garments that land in shops are first created and molded by the human touch. His techie tendencies were given a down-to-earth direction with a body-hugging dress whose shape and print imitated flowing black sand dunes. While Chalayan is a great provocateur, his new subtlety suited him well and made taken-for-granted basics newly inspiring.
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