Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on May 2010

INERTIA, spring/summer 2009. Photo by Chris Moore

Airborne, autumn/winter 2007, installation view at the Design Museum, London. Photo by Luke Hayes

In certain walks of life, fame is a concept-driven thing—the more offbeat and unforgettable your concepts are, the more chance you have of standing out from the crowd. But in the world of fashion, where everybody has the same idea, this is not as easy as it sounds. One designer who has managed to take things a notch further is London-based Turkish Cypriot Hussein Chalayan. From his graduation collection at St. Martins College of Art and Design (silk dresses that were buried, partially decomposed, and then exhumed) to later collections (chairs and tables that could double as garments), Chalayan has got an attention-grabbing, oddball genius as well as a sense of style. Both are on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Hussein Chalayan: From Fashion and Back, an exhibition which draws attention to the innovative use of materials and unorthodox inspirations of the two-time British Designer of the Year.

Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo
Hussein Chalayan: From Fashion and Back. Various media. Until June 20, free (elem and under)/¥600 (MS, HS)/¥800 (65 and over)/¥900 (univ)/¥1,200 (general). 4-1-1 Miyoshi, Koto-ku. Open Tue-Sun 10am-8pm, closed Mon. Nearest stn: Kiyosumi-Shirakawa. www.mot-art-museum.jp