The designer Hussein Chalayan never ceases to surprise me. A couple of seasons ago he had a runway show in which he presented fashion as it has evolved over time and as it will look in the future. He used crystal technology -- I can't even begin to explain it -- that allowed the clothes to magically transform, or evolve, on the runway. The finale was a naked model.
For spring 2008, he presented his collection -- sort of -- in a gallery in the 11th quarter of Paris. There were no actual clothes or actual models. Just a film that lasted about 10 minutes. It was done in conjunction with photographer Nick Knight. The clothes were relatively straightforward for Chalayan, who has been known to send elaborate topiaries down the runway and call them dresses. There were little pleated skirts and wrap tops in multiple layers, short shorts and jackets with seam details and floaty pleated dresses. All of it was in relatively subdued colors.
I've been pondering the film -- which was also influenced by the opinions of fans who were invited to offer up ideas via the Internet for the musical direction -- during dinner. And I am not too proud to say that I'm still not sure what it all means. The models were spinning around in circles for a while at the beginning of the film. By the end, they had been dissected and multiplied, with their image appearing as though it were being viewed through a prism.
It's always intriguing to see clothes presented in a unique way. But I'm not so sure that the film helped articulate the beauty of the clothes.
The most interesting part of the film was the finale, when crystal-covered clothes bounced light back at the viewer and it looked as if the clothing had been transformed into some kind of pulsating sun. I love a good movie mystery or a film that attempts to speak to viewers in new and surprising ways. But I could have used a few subtitles in this case.
To see the film go to http://www.showstudio.com/projects/readings/movie/
Perhaps you can explain it to me.
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