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Hussein Chalayan AW15, Dazed backstage, Paris, Womenswear
Backstage at Chalayan AW15Photography Chloé Le Drezen

Chalayan AW15

A collection embroidered with clues and inspired by the orientalism of an Agatha Christie murder mystery

Initial reaction: 

Murder on the Orient Express as an inspiration? Who knew that Hussein Chalayan would be into Agatha Christie's whodunit novels, but he managed to abstract elements of the English detective classics so that the theme was not immediately perceptible. They were subtle clues worked into a collection that was, at the core of it, a Chalayan wardrobe of fluid and deconstructed tailoring with centrepiece showcase dresses that in this instance, depicted side profile mugshots in the embroidery. Face or terrain? Chalayan was intrigued by the geography at play during the Orient Express journey as opposed to retelling the tale through literal allusions to characters. 

Clueing us in:

Chalayan peppered his collection with clues that played up the suspense and tension aspect of the novel. Other than a snowy scene, as a jacquard pointed to that fateful night of the murder, Chalayan used the novel as a vehicle to push new terrain for him – such as workwear with zippered twists and exaggerated sleeves. Mirroring the frosted glass partition set, the divisions between the train compartments were hinted at with pleated drapes suspended in skirts of the three final dresses. 

East meets west:

“I like the idea that the story starts in Istanbul and ends in London and the way in which the West manages to orientalise the East – I enjoyed that cliche weirdly because it gave me a bit of meat to get into. That journey could have started in Prague - why does it start in Istanbul? She associates a mysticism of a darkness with this part of the world.”