“Either you are a work of art or you wear it” – Oscar Wilde.
And who better than Hussein Chalayan was able to give life to such an exiting aphorism?
A brilliant mind that in time has been capable to draw from countless sources of inspiration for the creation of garments able to express real philosophical principles.
Many have called it “Wearable Art” and the designer himself has often revealed his conceptual curiosity.
The Airmail T-shirt is the fourth edition of the “Airmail” series, conceived in 1993 and relaunched this March 2020 in a contemporary key.
The first version was produced the same year that the artist graduated from Central Saint Martins: the Airmail Dress.
The dress was made of white Tyvek paper, the so-called “non-woven fabric”, finished by the blue and red contours of the letter envelopes, and could be sent overseas by mail.
Chalayan lived in England and as a boy, he used to write letters to his mother in Turkey, and that was exactly what set the creative process in motion.
Those who received the gift created the garment simply by discarding the packaging and, not being able to know what it contained, was overwhelmed by an almost magical wonder.
“It’s something you can customize, cut, recompose. I love to see what happens to the dress while it’s on the road. It’s like sending the shadow of yourself”– Chalayan.
The theme today has been readjusted: “Absence. Presence” is the name of the T-shirt. White, minimal.
Because it’s not about the clothes, it’s about the story it tells.
Once discarded, part of the pack remains on the apparel and becomes a sign of its absence or presence.
It shows a desire to be somewhere else, with the people we love.
A very current theme, re-proposed with great timing. Today, in the midst of a pandemic emergency, we understand the importance of “being there” and that absence does not exclude presence.
This T-shirt is a symbol: a gift that can fill the heart.
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