Paris Fashion Week 2014: Hussein Chalayan nails it

PARIS -- Designer Hussein Chalayan, one of fashion’s biggest thinkers, never ceases to amaze. On the runway he’s shown remote-controlled dresses, collapsible wood coffee-table skirts and many more innovative designs.

And on Friday he surprised us again, albeit in a much more banal way, by showing a dress with a front panel covered in rows and rows of colorful fake fingernails. It was genius in a lowbrow way -- and guaranteed to make sure everyone was paying attention at the morning show. There were double and triple takes.

The rest of the collection was sportswear with an avant-garde twist, including leather jackets with zip-off panels, hybrid culotte-skirts (just one pants leg!) that somehow managed to look chic not weird, worn with boxy jackets that buttoned low.

Dresses were embellished with panels of draped velvet or lame in architectural-looking prints, which created a modern yet feminine look. The collection was commercial but interesting, and that’s a magic combination.



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