If Hussein Chalayan assured one thing with his Fall 2013 collection, it's that you will need to take a second look. The conceptual designer went with a surprisingly urban aesthetic. An uber wide leg jean with an equally uber wide cuff was a mainstay of utilitarian looks that will certainly keep you warm. Sporty coats were elevated with sophisticated zipper and fold details and shapes that hovered away from the body but didn't conceal it.
This was one of the most impressive facets of the collection — the really nuanced concept of silhouette. It was as successful when embracing moderate volume head-to-toe – a slouchy black shirt with a low-on-the-hips flary A-line skirt – as when Chalayan created a more traditionally balanced distribution of volume as with a formfitting leather jacket with the aforementioned exaggeratedly wide leg jeans. There was a very literal, androgynous menswear inspiration — if you crop out the model's head, you can't tell if it's a man or a woman in the photo of a few looks.
After all that bleak utilitarian wear, a dress, peplum jacket and separates in a cool tone iridescent print that duplicated thermal imaging of electricity was particularly striking. It was followed up by dresses and a jacket in a very impressionistic, painterly print. This was a short extra bright spot in the collection, juxtaposed against the minimalist urban wardrobe of heavy gray, black and brown that preceded and followed it. The latter knits were intercut with panels of feminizing silk and satin. Clearly a more feminized section of the presentation was being ushered in.
A series of feminine, detailed dresses and gowns in ethereal fabrics at once floated around and swathed the body in beautiful, artistic forms. More subdued iridescent fabric was cut together with black lace. View how, with one violent tug at the neckline, a simple maroon shift transformed into a floor length black gown with an iridescent, scarf-like detail at the neck on the HUSSEIN CHALAYAN Facebook page here. Talk about a day to night look. This was an excellent metaphor for the transformative nature of the collection.