Nov 21 2010

The ‘Airmail Dress’ (ATOPOS cvc 2010.10.032) by Hussein Chalayan, a British designer of Turkish Cypriot background, is inspired by airmail stationery; it is made of Tyvek, a paper-like material, and has the blue and red airmail markings around the edges. The bottom of the dress is finished as the flap of an envelope and can be folded to fit into the envelope in order to be sent by post.
Chalayan has long experimented with the ideas of migration and communication, which, as he has said, derive from his childhood, when as a child living in England he wrote letters to his mother in Turkey. His ‘Airmail Dress’, bearing a handwritten message, can be worn by the recipient. Although the sender is physically absent, he or she is present whereve the dress is worn. In Chalayan’s own words, the dress “can become a token for absence or presence”. The artist Bjork chose to wear an ‘Airmail’ jacket for her 1995 album, ‘Post’.

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Hussein Chalayan