4 posts tagged "Rad Hourani"
Unisex dressing is one of the touchstones of the Paris-based designer Rad Hourani. Modular dressing is another. So not only does he show collections—both for his more experimental Rad Hourani line, and the (ever so slightly) more commercial RAD by Rad Hourani—of matching looks on men and women, those looks are composed of a startlingly small number of pieces. His seventh collection for Rad Hourani, shown this week in Paris, boiled down to six pieces. But from those—zippered, unzippered, tied, twisted, and layered—22 looks were born. It’s a clever if occasionally slightly head-scratching bit of calculus to work out. So no wonder Hourani’s taken to illustrating his point with video, where the looks can pile on and off in the blink of an eye. At his Paris presentation, he showed the following short, just before Irina Lazareanu took to the mic for a song. It stars Herieth Paul, the rising Tanzanian model, who also opened the RAD by Rad show in New York. Check out the debut, below.
Being at Paris fashion week—a.k.a. the purgatory of the chronic over-packer—a Donna Karan-like system of dressing sounds like heaven. That’s just what Rad Hourani has created with his new collection: six pieces (one less than Donna’s famous seven easy ones) that combine to create 22 different looks. There are three jackets, one dress/top, one pair of pants, even one bag and one wallet. All are black leather or wool crepe, except the dress/top in white cotton shirting, for a touch of graphic contrast.
It doesn’t sound like much, but the collection, through the magic of zippers (a Hourani favorite), expands exponentially. A jacket turns into a skirt or a cape. Another transforms into a sort of belt. The back panel of yet another zips off to become a clutch bag, and so on. Everything is designed to be worn back to front. “I like pushing that idea that you can have fewer items in your wardrobe,” said Hourani. Not that he’s not designing other clothes. This capsule goes under the label Rad Hourani, which, he explains, will be a place for higher-end fashion and include any other creative projects, like the short film he shot on Tanga Moreau for his six new pieces. Hourani’s ready-to-wear collection, shown on the runway in New York, now goes by the name RAD by Rad Hourani, formerly his diffusion line.
Hourani reports that retailers worldwide love the idea, many buying the collection in full. Podium in Moscow and Luisa Via Roma in Milan have already placed orders, while luxury Ukrainian department store Sanahunt has done one better and is planning an in-store boutique. And luckily, each piece will come with a video with instructions on its various iterations.
If you’re a fashion person of a certain age, you probably had a Helmut Lang flashback at Rad Hourani’s show. The young Canadian designer had sewn straps inside jackets and vests à la vintage Lang, which he showed shrugged off shoulders and flapping like tailored black angel wings. “I’ve never done it before but I loved it when Helmut did it,” said Hourani. “I think everyone should do it. It’s such an easy, comfortable thing.” For Spring, Hourani continued his unmistakable unisex, monochromatic, clean-and-lean look. And as such, he’s quite pointedly not concerned with change, another reason he feels a connection to our favorite ex-designer Austrian. “Someone said to me, ‘Did you know that Helmut always stuck to this thing and was criticized for not changing enough?’ ” Hourani said. “And I was like, ‘That was genius.’ ” Still, new for Spring was the addition of silver in a trim of chains, steel zips, and an almost robotic silver wool. Currently, Hourani’s biggest retailer is Holt Renfrew, who is considering adding it for men’s, while Seven is his only stockist in New York. But at Monday’s show were some new retail faces from Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman/Neiman Marcus, and Colette. No decisions were made but as Neiman’s Roopal Patel said, “We’re here. We’re interested.”
“I don’t know if it’s called a diffusion line,” said Rad Hourani last night, sitting backstage in a Soho Grand conference room before the presentation of his new collection Rad by Rad Hourani. Perhaps that’s because nothing in the world could get this up-and-comer to diffuse or dilute the strict angular, noir-ish look that he’s made his razor-focused signature in a mere four seasons. Instead, the secondary line flows seamlessly into the designer label, recasting the same silhouettes in lighter, more casual, and, of course, more affordable materials. “In the main line, we use leather, cashmere, and all of these luxury, high-end fabrics,” explained Hourani. “This is just more relaxed and easier to wear in cotton and jerseys.” The 15 looks—all unisex, as is the designer collection—are exactly that: rectangular-cut jackets and vests layered over draping tees and his ultra-straight leg pants, now in denim versus carefully constructed strips of leather. Though Hourani prefers seasonlessness, this range is essentially resort and will be available in stores and online at www.radbyradhourani.com in late November. With a price range of $100 to $400, his list of retailers should likely expand from a current roster that includes Holt Renfrew, Joyce, and Seven in New York. And that should please his young and very dedicated fan base, who packed the event alongside the designer’s black-clad mini-entourage, which was flown in from Canada for the occasion and included Jak & Jil’s Tommy Ton (who took this photograph). They’ll all be back before we know it when Hourani shows Spring 2010 here on September 14.