Hussein Chalayan's awesome animatronic fashion

Fashion designer Hussein Chalayan premiered his Spring/Summer 2007 collection this week, and it's full of Swarovski-crystal-embellished animatronic couture. The clothes wriggle, unfold, collapse, and transform by themselves.

The final act in Chalayan's show, at left: this piece began as a dress, morphed into a hat, then rained down as a cloud of Swarovski crystal dust. Hot.

Snip from Sarah Mower's writeup at

The girl walked in and stood stock-still, dressed in a long, high-necked corseted Victorian gown.

Then her clothes began to twitch, move, and reconfigure of their own accord. The mono-bosom top opened, the jacket retreated, the hemline started to rise, and–finally, amazingly–there she was, wearing a crystal-beaded flapper dress: a woman propelled through fashion history from 1895 to the twenties in the space of a minute. This was one of six incredible feats of technology and conceptual commentary at the heart of Hussein Chalayan's show.

(…) What really gave the show a disturbing sense of wake-up-to-reality was the soundtrack. Here, the changing shapes were connected to the sounds of the twentieth century–fragments of music, trench warfare, the ranting of Hitler, aerial bombing, jet engines, the beating of helicopter rotors.

WMV movie here (the animatronic stuff and the nude model are toward the end). Showstudio blog has a great "the making of" post about Chalayan's "One Hundred and Eleven" collection here. Photos, above, by Marcio Madeira for (Thanks, Susannah Breslin!)