LONDON, United Kingdom — Hussein Chalayan says he loathes the word "conceptual." It was a label given to him by journalists at the turn of the millennium, when he was selling exquisite tailoring and dresses alongside his coup de théâtres at Sadler's Wells. Chalayan returned to the Islington dance space to show his latest collection, Entitle, which began with the theme "despair and entitlement." It was all about FOMO, or "fear of missing out" — as it's more often known in today's age of Instagram — and the sense of entitlement and longing that comes with it.
That winged tailoring, with its technical twists and turns, was the star of the show. The drapery was controlled by drawstring fastenings and cleverly cut panels that maintained a soft silhouette. At times, the references came out literally but also beautifully, such as the swathe of chiffon worn over faces to represent social filters. Or there's the "texting with embroidery" embellishments that were first shown at his last menswear show. Or even the crystal-strewn mirrored head frames that came out at the end of the show. Thinking about a holiday, or looking at someone's vacation pics on Instagram? Look no further than the tropical palm prints, which upon closer inspiration are compiled of code.
The concept, for want of a better word, wasn't obvious and it also wasn't the major attraction, but the line-up of such creative tailoring deserved its moment in the spotlight. Ironically, it was the biggest draw.