Always a deep thinker, Hussein Chalayan continued to ponder the same philosophical questions and cultural concerns he started exploring as part of his last pre-collection.

His latest outing was underlined by ideas of the meaning of happiness, as interpreted by different cultures and the impact of pivotal events through history.

“It’s an ongoing quest for me. You weave through different interests and try to discover ideas and techniques through the journey,” the designer said backstage.

He abstracted these ideas into a thought-provoking range that focused on deconstructed tailoring, juxtaposed fabrics and painterly patterns, which mapped out different historical events or parts of the world and the symbols attached to them.

Tailored jackets featured drop shoulders or built-in straps to pull them in and inspire a “displaced” look; monochrome trousers featured big structured folds on the sides and a range of fluid dresses was made out of a jacquard pattern depicting scenes from the Roman myth of the Abduction of Sabine Women.

Contrasts reigned strong throughout the collection: Blazers featured big, structured shoulders and fluid peplum hems, softly draped fabrics were placed next to structured quilted ones and diaphanous, languid silhouettes were proceeded by androgynous, tailored looks — the idea being to create a simultaneous sense of ease and unease that reflects the current state of affairs.

“It’s a dance between opposites, contrasting shapes, things that are controlled but also flow away,” Chalayan added. “I try to filter these ideas through form and shapes, but if you don’t understand them, hopefully you can just enjoy them as shapes and clothes. That’s the point.”

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