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LONDON | Cuba’s local culture and its authentic lifestyle inspired Chalayan’s SS16 collection “Pasatiempo”. The British designer’s unique interpretations of this Caribbean Island past and present are reflected in the cut of the garments and fabric developments. Summer tailoring, drapery as well as military inspired dresses and skirts are featured throughout the collection; coupled with Chalayan’s signature fabric manipulations on his signature in evening gowns. Designer Hussein Chalayan is well-known for his multi-disciplinary approach to fashion. His particular eye and style has brought him to be considered one of the best Birtish designers of his generation. He has participated in exhibitions and solo shows too. In the SS16 collection, he takes advantage of his interest for other artistic disciplines with the "Plonk", an illustrated character originally created by Joan M Davies in the 1940’s. Chalayan uses this character as an inspiration to portray various scenarios in Cuba, whilst also capturing all the developments taking place after the revolution. For instance he uses it as a single print or as knitwear. Likewise, the key role that music plays in Cuban daily life is depicted through graphic prints of dancing couples embellished with Swarovski crystals strips over the dancing figures emphasizing their movement. Cuba’s famous cigar industry, is shown in the various steps of preparation as textbook illustrations. Statistics showing data before and after the revolution are printed on pleated voiles with jacquard foliage. Chalayan manages to keep his signature edgy and minimalist style despite the colorful elements attached to Cuba’s scenery and culture. He uses key fabrics such crisp cotton, poplin and soft cotton in olive, tobacco and black. Also prevalent in the collection is crepe de chine alongside stretch crepe in poppy, lime, black, fresh mint and a light jacquard. Photos courtesy Electric Sekki.

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