Today Fashionurbia is hosting an amazing guest post by architect and industrial designer, Gokalp Ekremoglu. So get prepared to indulge yourself with some knowledge you wouldn’t normally get only by looking at a final product.
Born in Ankara Turkey, Gokalp studied architecture at YTU Istanbul and Industrial design at MU Fine Arts Istanbul. He worked both at design - project studios and execution fields and participated in multinational projects. Besides, he is interested in fashion design, music and tango. He is currently living in Bucharest Romania.
What Gokalp Ekremoglu did in this article I would compare to the process of deconstructing when drawing a live figure. That is, in order to understand how inspiration from other disciplines can generate innovative fashion creations, he deconstructed Hussein Chalayan’s fashion and art works.
And now, I will let you enjoy the post:
take off your coat
Take off your shoes
I’ll take off your shoes.
take off your dress
You can leave your hat on -
You can leave your hat on -
You can leave your hat on.
It is almost impossible not to remember this song from Joe Cocker after watching the cloth dissappear and leave only the hat on a model in such an impressive way that amazed the audience with the technology integrated to fashion design during Hussein Chalayan’s spring summer 2007 collection cat walk, namely “One Hundred and Eleven”.
I do not think that Hussein Chalayan did get some inspiration from these lyrics at all, he sure had some other motives and ideas while creating his designs but if we focus on the sentence ” you can leave your hat on” emphasizing the word “on” we may even match its other meanings with his some other works.
For example take autumn winter 2007 collection and you will see the hats glowing in the dark with integrated lights on almost like a lamp,
or spring summer 2008 collection hats with mobile laser lights moving with programmed servo motors.
Further more if we consider the word ‘on’ referring “starting an action” – as in the function of an on/off button on an industrial product- we may see the hats in the spring summer 2007 and autumn winter 2007 collections do really have hidden mechanisms that can be turned on and off.
He sure did not limit himself only to applying these technologies and techniques to hats but almost to all the clothes he designed in these collections. In Autumn Winter 2007 for example it is possible to display a digital animation on the entire cloth that contains LEDs all over and function almost like a screen.
These futuristic designs of Hussein Chalayan do make us wonder and redifine the blurred borders between the fashion design and product design.
In our daily life we can easily observe that some items have different variations those can be classified as fashion or product designs very sharply. Bags, hats, shoes or eyeglasses for example, while there are very fancy designer sunglasses on one end, we can find very industrial, functional, protective glasses (for some works like welding lets say) on the other end.
For a person looking at these two different types of glasses, it is very easy to distinguish and classify them. I think, what Hussein Chalayan doing is, somehow removing the boundries between fashion and industrial product design and come up with innovative new designs that have features from both ends yet still remaining in the fashion side with technology and extra functions added to aestetics.
To be clearer we may break down some elements of industrial product design, architecture and fashion design that Hussein Chalayan utilizes on his works: a-materials; b-textures; c-forms; d-pneumatic systems and structures; e-aerodynamics; f-moving mechanisms/animatronics; g-lights; h-layers/composites; i-production method.
MATERIALS While fabrics are the basic element for fashion design, Hussein Chalayan adds some other materials those mainly used in industrial products and architecture like plastic, glass, paper, wood, fiber glass, resin, to his designs.
TEXTURES Besides using different textured fabrics together, due to the materials mentioned above his designs also contain the textures of these materials enriching his works.
FORMS Using the above mentioned materials he gets the ability to obtain new forms especially through plastic and fiber glass with resin, which cause his designs to have more industrial look, even like a smooth aeroplane surface.
PNEUMATIC SYSTEMS AND STRUCTURE Pneumatic systems are air or gas pumped elements that are being used in many industrial products and architecture, Hussein Chalayan integrated this technology in his collection autumn winter 2003.
AERODYNAMICS Aerodynamics is a branch of physics studying the relationship between the air and forms of the moving objects and vehicles, in his autumn winter 2007 collection Hussein Chalayan designed clothes which remain floating almost like parachutes when they are forced with flow of air underneath, these clothes contain some carefully placed holes for airflow and some plastic structures.
MOVING MECHANISMS / ANIMATRONICS Manuel or automated moving parts and mechanisms are used in industrial products quite often. In aw 99 , ss2000, ss2007, Hussein Chalayan added moving parts and pieces on his designs by adopting some mechanical designs and controls underneath the clothes. He prefers to use the term Animatronics, which is basicly utilizing electronic control systems on robotic mechanisms. Via this technology he is able to transform one cloth into another.
LIGHTS As a part of new technology he integrated laser and LED lights to his designs in the collections of autumn winter 99, autumn winter 07 and spring summer 08.
LAYERS / COMPOSITES In his spring summer 2003 collection, he transformed clothes from being one layer of fabric covering the body, into multi layered composites like a product or industrial material with different parts and layers one under the other.
PRODUCTION METHOD In spring/summer ‘00 and autumn/winter ‘00 collections he used a production method that is mainly used in industry and sculpting, which is to carve from a whole solid body material until reaching to a desired shape using a milling / lathe machine or cnc machine with 3 or 5 axis.
In conclusion, although the ideas mentioned above only reflect my personal thoughts those formed upon observing Hussein Chalayan’s works, I can surely state that Hussein Chalayan takes the fashion design to new waters and forces its boundaries via interdiciplinary studies with industrial design, architecture and applying new technologies and techniques. I must remind the reader that this article only covers the some technical aspects of Hussein Chalayan’s designs, as an artist behind all these designs, he also has conceptual approaches and feeling of aestetics and art which should seperately be studied to fully understand his works.
Guest post by Gokalp Ekremoglu