Combining contemporary fashionable clothes with an intriguing vision of the future, designer Hussein Chalayan exhibits his first comprehensive presentation in the UK. Taking place at the Design Museum until 17th May 2009, the twice named ‘British Designer of the Year’, is renowned for his innovative use of materials, meticulous pattern cutting and progressive attitudes to new technology.

Spanning fifteen years of experimental projects, the exhibition explores Hussein Chalayan’s creative approach, his inspirations and the many themes that influence his work such as cultural identity, displacement and migration. Exhibits will include ‘Afterwords’ exploring ‘wearable, portable architecture’ in which furniture literally transforms itself into garments; ‘Airborne’ bringing the latest LED technology to fashion design featuring a dress with Swarovski crystals and over 15,000 flickering LED lights; and ‘Readings’ a dress comprising over 200 moving lasers.

Presenting fashion as a site of exploration and as expressions of concepts, Hussein Chalayan challenges preconceived notions of what clothing can mean, rather than functional garments. Motivated by ideas outside of fashion, Hussein Chalayan’s pioneering work crosses between architecture, design, philosophy, anthropology, science and technology.

Since 2003, Hussein Chalayan has also directed art projects, including the short films ‘Temporal Meditations’, ‘Place to Passage’ and ‘Anaesthetics’. In 2005, he represented Turkey at the 51st Venice Biennale with Absent Presence, featuring Tilda Swinton.

The exhibition is held in association with Creative Puma. Hussein Chalayan is the creative director of PUMA, who acquired a majority stake in Chalayan’s London-based fashion business and Hussein Chalayan brand in February 2008.

Image: Reading SS08

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