Hussein Chalayan, for more than twenty years, has used clothing as a platform to display materials that change state and transform themselves. His work is characterized by an adventurous, bold incorporation of technology and an ability to address conceptual issues—such as disembodiment, metamorphosis, mobility and forced migration—through fashion. Chalayan’s experimental practice has turned the runway show into a sophisticated, multi-media form of performance art.
Chalayan was born in Nicosia, Cyprus and educated both in Cyprus and England. After graduating from Central St. Martins with a BA (Honours) degree in Fashion in 1993. Chalayan’s final year collection was featured in the eponymous window of Brown’s. In 1993, Chalayan formed his own fashion house, showcasing his twice-yearly collections in highly curated shows that transcended into politically, socially and technologically challenged subjects. Chalayan founded his own label in 1994 that brought with it worldwide stockists, awards such as British Designer of the year (1999/2000), an MBE (2006) and critically acclaimed solo exhibitions at The Design Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo, Istanbul Modern and Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.
Aside from four womenswear and two menswear collections a year, Hussein Chalayan was a design consultant to Parisian Heritage Brand Vionnet for two years and is the Head Professor of the fashion department at The University of Applied Arts in Vienna. In 2015 Chalayan was a speaker at TED talk ‘Truth or Dare’, opened his flagship store in London’s Mayfair and designed/ co-directed dance piece ‘Gravity Fatigue’ at Sadler’s Wells.
Chalayan represented Turkey in the 2005 Venice Biennale.
The New York Times, A Dress That Moves—With a Life of Its Own
Wallpaper Magazine, Multi-platform player: Hussein Chalayan lends new form to film, dance and art