Space, and the ways people move through it — fueled the imagination of the designer, who looked to Aboriginal Australians and their songlines, and to nature rituals of the Far East for this elegant collection that was filled with clever folds, drapes and details that appeared to melt into one another.
Seemingly simple shapes came with thought-provoking details, as in long, rectangular flaps on the sleeves of cotton blouses or jackets meant to frame the upper body; a draped skirt with naïf line and dot patterns inspired by the songlines; collars emerging from the inside to the outside of a dark jacket, and long, flowing ties on dresses that could be knotted, tied, turned into scarves or wrapped around the torso.
One taupe knitted dress was a standout: Chalayan stretched the band of the neckline right down the side of the sleeve.
He riffed on flags, too, turning them from 2-D into 3-D as in the gentle ripples on a black skirt, or the dramatic folds and capes on dresses and coats. It was a great exercise in conceptual clothing that actually looks great — and functions, as well.