Chalayan's journey into the interior

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The Independent Online

Hussein Chalayan, the Turkish Cypriot-born, London-based designer, kicked off the Paris collections yesterday with a small but perfectly formed show that was as fresh and modern as it was easy to wear.

Chalayan has shown in Paris for five years, and has wowed his London audience with everything from table tops that transformed into gleaming red wooden skirts, and dresses that were suspended from helium balloons.

Entitled Repose, Chalayan's offering was, he said, "all about longing for interiors, a journey home". His collection opened with an immaculately tailored knee-length black-belted coat with double lapels. This was followed by padded jackets cut close to the body, tweedy jackets with leather inserts, and little black dresses with beautiful, scalloped necklines and filmy overlays.

The structure of garments was painstakingly thought out, but it was the colour palette that stood out most. In particular, a wood grain print in deepest ruby and antique bronze and gold was extraordinary. It positively shimmered as models walked.

Later, the Belgian designer Dries van Noten's models sported quivering squares of gold leaf that matched their platform-heeled gold shoes. This may sound hugely decadent, but Van Noten was in fact more subdued than usual. The elaborate embroideries for which he is most famous came in more muted colours, from bronze to emerald green, and the opulence was undercut by juxtaposing the more obviously feminine side with masculine-inspired tailoring.

Thisseason his devotees will be wearing, among other things, slouchy V-neck sweaters and roomy cardigans in dark or neutral colours with taffeta skirts.

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