As part of the Istanbul 2010 European Capitol of Culture efforts the Istanbul Modern presents a catalogue of work, spanning from 1994 to present, by conceptual designer Hussein Chalayan.

Earlier this month I had the opportunity to visit the exhibition in the stunning cultural goldmine that is Istanbul. I was intrigued to say the least, if only to see what one of the worlds most forward thinking and controversial designers would select to represent himself in this given city.

I was without disappointment as, inevitably, the exhibition boasted a concise and engaging selection of his most interesting works and concepts. Along side mannequins adorned in Chalayan’s creations, huge projections looped a catalogue of his most innovative catwalk shows, the screens so large as they simulated a feeling of sitting front row at the actual event.

As a designer Chalayan epitomizes conceptual fashion, which is clear as his ideas stem from topics such as displacement, immigration and technological advancement. With a career dedicated to binding fashion and thought Chalayan deserves every praise for what is undoubtedly a directional and refreshing exhibition.

The exhibition runs until October 24th at the Istanbul Modern.

Lara Angol