The 20-piece capsule collection VSP Chalayan brings together two different types of expertise. On the one hand, VSP is an Istanbul-based producer of luxury fabrics for various labels, such as Burberry and Gucci. Though it also became its own namesake brand, VSP, in 1997, under Turkish creative director Kadri Soygül, its signature remains the excellence of their leathers, shearling, knits, and linens. Hussein Chalayan, on the other hand, has been a unique and provocative designer since his debut on the scene in the early ‘90s, having astonished with his graduation collection that he’d buried underground and resurrected. Chalayan defines himself simply as an ideas man, though. As he says: “Conceptualizing is a very off-putting word. It’s abstract—and it sounds pretentious. You can actually be quite imaginative and creative and not pretentious.” With that in mind: melding the delightfully inventive yet unaffected nature of Chalayan’s vision, and the exquisiteness of the VSP fabrics, makes for a sweet union. Part of a three-season collaboration, the womenswear pieces include dresses, jackets, and trousers.
The two companies aligned their approaches for the capsule. “We were in agreement from the beginning that we would mix the textures,” Chalayan said at the opening of the VSP’s first boutique in Paris. “You get much richer results, always. It was very much about 3D volume, playing with seamlessness. An idea that you could transform things from less to more; carrying on around the body.”
While not quite as overtly architectural as Chalayan’s own brand, they definitely have his spirit: the silhouettes metamorphose from one volume to another with an easy whizzzzzz of a zip. The zip isn’t only a means by which to transform the garment, but also a visual theme throughout the collection, with raw zips as design accents: rough edges at the neckline, and adding dimensionality along the silhouette.
Although known for experimenting with unconventional materials, Chalayan was excited to work with VSP’s leather specialists. He notes: “I do have a leather section in my collection, but nowhere near to this extent,” whereas here, “our core collection is leather, and you mix it with other things.” Chalayan appreciated the exposure to different methods, citing that, “It’s interesting to see how a producer controls the collection. The level of craftsmanship, the attention, and the time you spend with a garment is very different when you produce it yourself.”
Indeed VSP’s expert techniques result in luxuriously tactile garments. Chalayan’s eye manipulated them into a gorgeous fabric patchwork, harmonious in monochrome hues. They’re understated statement pieces—all in leather like buttah, and high-end without sacrificing wearability.
VSP’s Paris Flagship store is at 19, rue Debelleyme 75003.