The article’s approach is mainly to analyze fashion as a form, focusing specifically on Hussein Chalayan’s Remote Control Dress but also referencing other parts of Hussein Chalayan’s body of work. Bradley Quinn seems most interested in fashion, especially technologically enhanced fashion, and its relationship with the human body. Though not the article’s main focus, Quinn briefly discusses the fashion system as well.
However, Hussein Chalayan’s Remote Control Dress also has normalizing processes as it is involved in what Quinn refers to as the techno-sexualization of the body. That is to say that the dress has the power to reveal or hide certain parts of the body and to shape the female form, allowing the wearer’s body to conform to ideal standards of beauty. Thus the term ‘fashion’ in this instance is used not to describe the system or the garments but rather the process of shaping or creating something. The idea of revealing and concealing body parts is a running theme in Hussein Chalayan’s work.
Still, the Remote Control Dress and Chalayan’s body of work confront a chilling issue that has come up as society becomes increasingly technologically advanced which is the potential for humans to become controlled by technology. The dress is the epitome of scientific progress and challenges fashion norms. Fashion, Quinn argues, has always had interactive and communicative properties and the Remote Control Dress increases these possibilities. The dress challenges traditional aesthetics by blurring the lines between body and machine and marks a shift from defining the human body in terms of social values to defining it in terms of technology.
How Can This Be Applied? This article is very pertinent because it explores our increasingly technological dependent society. Clothing seems to be an area that has remained relatively untouched by technology but it certainly has the potential to be. Chalayan’s Remote Control Dress represents how far fashion has come from just its original protective uses. While the Japanese Avant Garde designers’ designs represent working with the body, Chalayan’s designs represent a shaping of the body. The desire to shape the body to its ideal form is an idea that has held up for ages, so while Chalayan’s designs are technologically advanced, much of the thought process behind them are the same thoughts behind more traditional fashion. While the Japanese Avant Garde designers valued and referenced the past, Hussein Chalayan is focused on looking to the future.