Dezeen Magazine

Dezeen podcast - Hussein Chalayan at the Design Museum

Dezeen podcasts: in this episode of our series of podcasts for the Design Museum in London, fashion designer Hussein Chalayan talks to Josephine Chanter at an exhibition of his work, on show at the museum.


The exhibition is a comprehensive presentation of Chalayan's projects in the UK, spanning fifteen years. It continues until 17 May.

Top image: Hussein Chalayan, INERTIA Spring,Summer 2009. Above: Hussein Chalayan Spring, Summer 07.


Above: Hussein Chalayan Airbourne Autumn,Winter 07.

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Above: Afterwards, 2000. Above photographs by Chris Moore.

Here's some more information from the Design Museum:


Hussein Chalayan

21 January – 17 May 2009

Fully established at the forefront of contemporary fashion design, the twice named “British Designer of the Year,” Hussein Chalayan, is renowned for his innovative use of materials, meticulous pattern cutting and progressive attitudes to new technology.


Above: Hussein Chalayan, Readings Spring, Summer 2008. Above photograph by Moritz Waldemeyer.

This exhibition will be the first comprehensive presentation of Hussein Chalayan’s work in the UK. Spanning fifteen years of experimental projects, the exhibition explores Hussein Chalayan's creative approach, his inspirations and the many themes which influence his work such as cultural identity, displacement and migration.


Above: Hussein Chalayan, Repose 2006, Aircraft wing with Swarovski.

Exhibits will include ‘Afterwords’ which explores the notion of ‘wearable, portable architecture’ in which furniture literally transforms itself into garments; ‘Airborne’ bringing the latest LED technology to fashion design with a spectacular dress consisting of Swarovski crystals and over 15,000 flickering LED lights and ‘Readings’ a dress comprising of over 200 moving lasers presenting an extraordinary spectacle of light.


Above: Hussein Chalayan, Place to Passage.

Presenting fashion as a site of exploration and as expressions of concepts, Hussein Chalayan challenges preconceived notions of what clothing can mean, rather than as garments with only functionality in mind. Motivated by ideas and disciplines not readily associated with fashion, Hussein Chalayan’s pioneering work crosses between architecture, design, philosophy, anthropology, science and technology.

Since 2003, Hussein Chalayan has also directed art projects, including the short films “Temporal Meditations”, “Place to Passage” and “Anaesthetics”. In 2005, he represented Turkey at the 51st Venice Biennale with Absent Presence, featuring Tilda Swinton.

Hussein Chalayan’s presentations demonstrate his unique ability to combine beautiful and wearable clothes for today with an intriguing vision of the future.

Hussein Chalayan is the creative director of PUMA, who acquired a majority stake in Chalayan's London-based fashion business and Hussein Chalayan brand in February 2008.

Hussein Chalayan was born in Nicosia, Cyprus. At the age of 12, he came to England to study and later graduated from Central St Martin’s College of Art and Design, London in 1993. His highly inventive graduate collection, The Tangent Flows was bought in full by the London retailer, Browns.

Chalayan set up his own label in 1994 and his debut collection was shown at London Fashion Week in 1995 and won critical acclaim. He participated in numerous exhibitions worldwide including Radical Fashion at the V&A, London (1997), Fashion at the Kyoto Costume Institute in Japan (1999), Airmail Clothing at the Musee de la Mode, Paris (1999), Century City at Tate Modern (2001), Godess: The Classical Mode at Moma, New York (2003) and Skin + Bones: Parallel Practices in Fashion and Architecture at Somerset House, London (2008).

His first solo exhibition took place at the Groninger Museum, The Netherlands in 2005. In the same year, he represented Turkey at the 51st Art Biennale in Venice. He now sells internationally and shows bi-annually in Paris.

He has succeeded in working simultaneously in a commercial and conceptual vein, designing costumes for opera and dance performances and developing his ideas in film and installation work as well as in the fashion industry. He has routinely collaborated across disciplines with industrial designers, musicians, jewellers and textile designers. In 2006 Chalayan was awarded an MBE for services to the fashion industry.

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