The mid-1990s were an exciting time for British fashion as a new crop of fashion students premiered graduate collections that energized the industry. The two most notorious were Alexander McQueen and Hussein Chalayan (graduating in 1992 and 1993 respectively), who along with Owen Gaster and Tristan Webber were described in the press as creators of “hard, risky stuff that scares everybody to death at first sight and then goes on to trigger major trends in Milan, Paris and New York a year down the line.” While this group of designers was known for pushing the boundaries of what was expected on the runway and were hailed as both the destroyers and saviors of the fashion industry, Chalayan was not interested in anarchy and fear or even fashion—instead he drew from “modern anthropology, politics, architecture, history, nature, the body, behaviour and technology.” For him, there has always been an awareness that he is not a conventional fashion designer: “I can't categorise what I do. I’m just cross-feeding different disciplines and creating a new category in the process." This clear, intellectual vision has allowed Chalayan to maneuver through the tumultuous ups and downs of the industry, while creating designs that transcend fashion.

Follow Laura on instagram here.