The showers at Hussein Chalayan’s SS16 show revealed glittering party dresses. Photo: Getty Images
Three weeks into fashion month, Hussein Chayalan managed to do something totally new on his runway in Paris on Friday morning—give his models a shower. Or two models, to be specific. The duo stood in a square in the middle of his runway wearing white paper dresses that didn’t look like much. Chayalan’s Cuba-inspired collection made its way around the paper-clad models until splash!
The water from the showers melted the jackets, revealing sparkling party dresses underneath, made in collaboration with Swarovski.
“That was to represent the transformation of a militant kind of situation [in Cuba] to a more playful one,” Chalayan told Vogue after the show. He said there were a lot of challenges using water on a runway—a runway’s slippery when dry, let alone wet, and the girls were visibly chilled—but that he likes taking risks. Which, if you’ve ever read anything about a Chalayan show is pretty obvious. In 2011 he showed a floating dress that didn’t even need a model. And years before that, in 2007, he produced what looked like a halo around one model, via an LED sheath. Both of which were also made in collaboration with Swarovski.
This morning, Tom Ford’s hard-partying music video suggested that the runway was over. But within hours, Chalayan proved there are some things you have to see in person to believe.