Poignant Apathy And Social Euphoria Epitomise Chalayan’s Spring/Summer 2020 Collection

Chidozie Obasi

Behavioural codes fused with unfathomable connotations cohesively demarcate Chalayan’s latest sartorial message.

Chalayan’s latest SS20 collection was a grip filled by minimal allure, morphing into instants of social uncertainty. Entitled “Post-Colonial Body”, the collection draws inspiration from a profound exploration of dance and movement performed by numerous ethnic groups, colonised by Western Forces. America and Japan have been two core countries which the label have trawled inspiration from to concretise this season’s mood. Following South America’s deep infiltration of colonial attitudes dating back to Hispanic occupation between the 16th and 19th century, socio-political factors have been severely moulded by the US occupation of 1945-1952. This season, the collection blends dance and movement derived from a variety of South American choreographs and Japanese ritual portrayals, constituting a celebration of seasonal rites of fertility and prosperity. Vacillating between what’s tangible and what’s not, the apparel conceives a spirit empowered by elation and protest, both underlined simultaneously. Every individual piece is, firmly, energised by drapes mimicking gestural body-phrasing, from genres which fundamentally merge dance of the European immigrants, former slaves and working class society, alluding to avant-garde dances able to vulcanise a feel of physical rigour and repression. While the collection evolves around the above-mentioned ideologies, Chalayan’s staple silhouettes and shapes endure being functional, practical and slick. The premium sartorial twist is punctuated by an eclectic yet structural range of ensembles, with an aim of modernising traditional tailoring conformations. Furthermore, Chalayan’s chromatic game isn’t one to be despised: among the many hues and textures, we denote navy subtle stripes, grey checks, custom tailored cotton stripes, crisp shirting and meek panelling. Arresting pictorial semiotics amalgamated with harmonic despair and docile tribulation leave us with an imperative dilemma at hand: will future generations be indulged by fear of expression, leading towards a status of social apathy? I’m assuming providence will take its own cue on that.

Image credit: Vogue.com


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