July 09, 2014 Paris
Start with stillness and movement. One dress was a lacy white number with eruptions of red pleating. There were other dresses in which the pleats were exaggerated with fountains of fringing. A simple strapless bias-cut silk sheath toted a swatch of fabric like a wrung-out towel. That was the kind of strangely sensual flourish that distinguishes Chalayan's own collections.
Chalayan is a fiercely technical designer. Here, for instance, there were a handful of gowns with a three-dimensional spine curving down the leg or over the shoulder. It was so weird that it shouldn't have worked. But it did, because everything was in the same fabric. The bias swags of contrasting fabrics were less successful. But at least Chalayan never rests. And, with the best will in the world, you could imagine Madeleine Vionnet recognizing herself in the work he is doing.