For those who only recognize Hussein Chalayan's work through his "table" dresses and transformable designs, the final few ensembles in his fall/winter 2015 show will be the only thing they remember. A series of beautifully draped gowns with pleating crafted to include the mechanics of drawstring curtains that you might find in the first class car on a steam engine train. But it would be a shame if this is the only thing that sticks in the mind from this commendable collection.
When it is learned that the designer was inspired by the film Murder on the Orient Express, those curtain dresses make even more sense. And it helps to elucidate the intriguing mash up of styles Chalayan showed on the catwalk. Moving from a pair of glamorous faux fur and camel colored cashmere ensembles worn with cloche hats, clearly the first class passengers, through some equally attractive utilitarian workwear overalls, which represented the train's blue collar staff.
In between those designs was a large assortment of artistically beguiling propositions. Tailored checked jackets flocked with white as if they were caught in a blizzard, and then the snow peaked mountains themselves represented in a graphic grey and white print, were clever. Likewise, the designer's quieter offerings; a beautifully cut black suit jacket dress springs to mind as does a fan pleated sleeveless knee length top worn with matching trousers. And any one of the triptych of long, black draped dresses seen towards the end of the show will be a true wardrobe ally to the woman who ends up owning it.
Chalayan's sartorial voyage this season was a trip well worth taking. And the souvenirs (the clothing) should last a lifetime.