Hussein Chalayan says Goga Ashkenazi is a “life force”.
The British/Turkish Cypriot designer is teaming up with Vionnet, which Goga acquired in 2012, to create a demi-couture range.
While he wasn’t sure about the project at first, meeting with the entrepreneur quashed any doubts he might have had.
“I had to think about it, of course. But when I met Goga, she’s honestly such a life force,” he smiled to style.com.
“She’s got this amazing creative energy. She’s a great entrepreneur, and I thought, ‘My God, you’re only 33.’ Also, she talks about how we’re all honouring Vionnet here. It’s not [Goga's] personal line. Vionnet is such an establishment. It’s got an undisputable heritage, so I thought it might be an exciting thing to do.”
Madeleine Vionnet fronted the iconic French fashion house, but passed away in 1975.
She’s known as the queen of the bias cut and for her elegant Grecian dresses.
Hussein, 43, usually creates very modern clothing, but he doesn’t think this is a negative thing.
“The whole idea is to look at what Vionnet would have done if she were living in this place and time. We are genuinely looking at the principles and the worldview that Vionnet had, and thinking about how that could be interpreted for now,” he explained.
“There are already parallels in my work because of my interest in graphicism and sculptural forms and their relationship to the body. But it’s about honouring the brand. It’s not about my brand. It’s a different kind of responsibility from doing your own thing. The whole project is surrounded by a big sense of responsibility to do the right thing, and to respect Vionnet. Of course, my name will be associated with it, but honestly, it’s an honorary project.”
Hussein’s first collection for Vionnet will hit the runway on January 21.
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