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Vionnet Taps Hussein Chalayan to Design Demi-Couture Line

The looks are to bow on Jan. 21 during Couture Fashion Week in Paris.

Imagine a red carpet filled with starlets sporting furniture that turns into dresses, or frocks that emit laser beams. Well, Hussein Chalayan, the innovative visionary behind such creations for his eponymous line, was just hired by Vionnet to design a collection of demi-couture to bow on Jan. 21 during Couture Fashion Week in Paris.

“He is a true artist, very conceptual, he thinks out of the box and has a strong architectural approach. He represents what Madeleine Vionnet represented in her era,” Vionnet chairman and creative director Goga Ashkenazi told WWD.

It's unclear how much of Chalayan's otherworldly ideas will make it into the Vionnet lineup, but judging by that quote, it could be quite a bit. Plus, the demi-couture line -- which was launched in September of 2012 in honor of Vionnet’s 100th anniversary -- puts a premium on pieces crafted using very fancy, hard-to-replicate techniques, and each dress is one-of-a-kind (though more affordable than straight couture, we imagine the prices are still quite steep). That Chalayan is in charge is exciting, given the fact that we've heard more than a few fashion editors -- upon returning from one of the Cyprus-born designer's shows -- dramatically proclaim that it was "genius" and "just beyond," often punctuated with long pauses to suggest that they just didn't have the words.

Going back to the red carpet, Diane Kruger, Natalie Portman and Gwyneth Paltrow have all worn Vionnet in the past, and it will be interesting to see who takes a chance on the Chalayan-crafted goods first. In our dreams, it would be Cate Blanchett.

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