Hussein Chalayan’s sophomore demi-couture collection for Vionnet was a study in geometry and how it can alter the shape and allure of essentially romantic and feminine evening gowns.

The designer worked with giant grommets, through which spilled layers of contrasting fabrics. Elsewhere, the circular shapes came in contrasting colors and were not cut out.

Calm and breezy pleated dresses sometimes fell straight the floor, or were whorled into a rosette near the shoulder. A garland of 3-D pleats ran down one leg of some of the dresses, and twisted their way into a trail at the back.

Chalayan clearly enjoyed the game of illusion. What looked like an oversize V-neck top in beaver fur gradually morphed into an undulating cape. He also literally punched out perfectly round holes into the backs of a pretty mink coat and a sporty-chic beaver jacket. Now that’s expensive air conditioning.

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