Where did this obsession with flat, boxy silhouettes and stark white come from? Both were major on Hussein Chalayan’s spring runway, emboldening the collection of crisp summer sportswear that was built on basics, with a few wandering conceptual moments, as the designer is wont to do.
Worn with floppy sun hats with wide brims that looked like visors in the front, there was a beachy flavor to the look, shown in sporty tones like white, chambray blue and neon yellow. Proportions were exaggerated yet simple on culottes and button-down shirts with wide shoulders, where the fabric was folded under at the peak to create a strong square line that jutted away from the body. The clean cuts and color made the fabrics, all incredibly light, shine.
Eventually, he whittled in the waistline, carving hourglass figures out of jackets and slim skirts and little dresses done in woven mesh. A more artistic version of the nipped-waist style was worked on gowns with long, ceremonial panels on which a female silhouette was drawn. It looked like Chalayan had taken a straight bolt of fabric and cut a hole for the head.