Hussein Chalayan has never been one to shy away from political commentary in his collections and this season, the Cypriot designer continued his personal response to immigration and integration in the banlieue of Paris. He started this narrative in his men’s fall collection, which drew from the Périphérique ring road in Paris that leads into some of the most impoverished suburbs with large immigrant communities.
“This is an ongoing interest of mine,” Chalayan said after the show. “Outside of Paris, for me, is the ultimate epitome of what could happen if you allow a segregated society. So I use that as my core and for me that’s the heart of the collection.”
Chalayan continued to explore notions of the imaginary journey from the center of Paris to the outskirts and back again and sent out a finessed lineup that started with exquisite tailoring. Featured were long and sculptured silhouettes, as well as voluminous outerwear in a mélange of colors from khaki, black and an eye-catching orange to a deep bordeaux and violet. It segued into sportswear, where he continued to play with proportion with oversized jackets and coats with exaggerated funnel necks.
As in the men’s collection, Chalayan explored the idea of looping — a reference to the round trip in and out of the city — as well as with panels that are removed or merged to create new garments or hybrids, as seen in some of the outerwear that featured a large panel wrapped around one arm and across the chest. There were also tailored jackets with panels that jutted out, creating a structured flouce that crossed diagonally from the shoulder to the hip.
Abstract prints that gave a nod to the aerial map of suburban Paris were seen in the latter part of the collection in fluidly draped dresses.
He also created a series of clear molded Perspex hats and masks that referenced thin layers of ice “because it was also a journey of being cold,” he explained.