News: Spotlight on: Hussein Chalayan

Tuesday 15 September 2015 by Clare Evans

Designer Hussein Chayalan accidentally began a career in dance in 2000, when he hired Sadler’s Wells Theatre to showcase his experimental Afterwords collection. His theatrical flair so impressed Company Director Alistair Spalding that he offered Hussein costume collaborations, working with dance makers including Michael Clark and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. But for his new project, Gravity Fatigue, Chalayan has been given complete control over the production, and it’s as fabulous as you’d expect.

I think it would be very peculiar,” says Hussein Chalayan, “for anyone interested in fashion not be interested in dance. It’s the ultimate expression of where bodies and movement meet clothes.”

While Chayalan will be the autonomous author of the work, he held no illusions about choreographing it, so was thrilled to meet Damien Jalet, a Belgian choreographer he felt would be ideal to collaborate with.

The two men developed their collaborative process, with Chalayan using sketches, photographs and other visual materials to clarify the themes he wanted to explore, and the costumes he wanted. He’d been clear from the start: the clothes would be “dictating the grammar of the choreography” not simply dressing it. Jalet found this fascinating. “Usually, as the choreographer, you ask the designer to come in and create the clothes. Here it was going to be the reverse.”

Read more: The Guardian, 10 September 2015

Hussein Chayaln has last week opened his flagship shop in London’s Mayfair. Gravity Fatigue is at Sadler’s Wells 28-31 October.

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