This week I decided to go over the the Musee Les Arts Decoratifs in Paris to check out the Hussein Chalayan exhibition. After waiting in a short line to get into the museum, I bought my ticket, climbed the stairs and opened the door into the exhibit. Walking into the space, I needed to take a moment to let my eyes get accustomed to the extremely low lighting. As I wandered into the exhibition, I saw glass boxes attached to the walls which housed the designs behind them.
Personally, I was a little disappointed in the exhibit since all of the garments were behind glass with very little lighting, it was hard to really see the pieces properly. Of course, some of the pieces needed to be in the dark as the patterns were projected onto the white fabrics of the dresses, and some had laser beams shooting out of the designs. The dresses that didn't need the dark should have been in a different space with more lighting! I am usually interested in seeing the textures and stitches in the fabrics, but there was no way I could get close enough to see them.... I should have brought a flashlight!
Born in Nicosia in 1970, Hussein moved to London as a child. He earned his degree from Central Saint Martins College in 1993 and began to develop his distinctive style. Chalayan stood out from the start of his career through his highly inventive uses of various mediums, including sculpture, furniture, video and special effects. He uses these processes in his fashion shows, drawing inspiration directly from the political, social and economic times of his era.
I did enjoy the way he manages to make the clothes transform into things other than what they seem. The clothes are mechanical and are able to move by remote control on the runway. It brings a whole new meaning to the saying "a change of clothes!"
The Hussein Chalayan exhibit is on until November 13. There is more information on the Les Arts Decorative website.