Cypress born, England transplant Hussein Chalayan attended London’s Central St. Martin’s College of Art and Design while apprenticing with a Savile Row tailor (Alford). His 1993 graduating collection “ The Tangent Flows” established him as a hot new talent in the fashion industry.
Chalayan has collaborated with mavericks from other disciplines such as architects, artists, aerospace engineers, textile technologists, and musicians. His designs are highly intellectual and conceptual thus supporting the idea of fashion designers as artists. Hussein Chalayan reflects the zeitgeist of the early 2000s with his technology inspired collections and complex mathematical pattern-cutting techniques.
It was important for him to be aware of fashion’s connection with the larger issues of society, culture, and design. He believes that “when people talk about clothes, they don’t talk about clothes in the context of society, in the social or cultural context; they just take them at face value.” He is inspired by the idea of “the big picture” and how the details connect rather than anything momentary or trivial. Unlike other designers, he does not try to distance his work from that of the world of fine art. Contemporary and performance art are sources of inspiration when introducing collections and fashion shows.