Hussein Chalayan's high-concept approach to fashion
often walks a dangerously fine line between endearing
and bemusing. The lucky charms of his last men's
collection surrendered this season to something called
Anamorphics, a comment on how perspective makes
"reality" an entirely individual perception. Another
interpretation: fashion is in the eye of the beholder.
The idea of perspective was played out in shirts that duplicated the sensation of looking at something receding into the distance. One side of a shirt would have an exaggerated sleeve, pocket, pattern, or shoulder that would reduce to normal size by the other side. Confused? Well, just assume that exaggeration was the general idea. A button-down lumberjack shirt was writ la-a-a-rge as a coat (paging Paul Bunyan). An overcoat was one-half single-breasted, one-half double-breasted (one-and-a-half breasted?). A military shirt and trench were combined in one piece, as were two shirts, one tucked inside the other and sewn together down the back, with one set of sleeves rolled up over the other. (Think of this as the Brokeback Shirt.)
As is usual with Chalayan, fabrics had a worn, faded look. He deemed the check on a shirt too bright, so he dimmed it with a veil of voile. Such effects can sound contrived, but it's the designer's enduring accomplishment to render them entrancingto cross, in other words, the line between bemusing and endearing.