4 July 2013

My favourite tag lines during this couture week.  Be couture, models. Be couture!

Extra? As back-ups?

See? Couture models eat!

As the only couturier doing the unisex collection, he's someone who's really interesting to have a chat with. And his philosophy in fashion relates to an even deeper value of humanity. I had a wonderful chance to talk to the man behind this lavish line of fashion in front of the dressing room after his show this morning at the garden of the residence of Canadian Ambassador to France.

Hi Rad. What do you feel about doing couture?

I love doing couture because it's very challenging, very complex, every detail  you have to think of it, it has to be balance perfectly, and everything inside outside has to be perfect. So each pattern can be remade again and again, sometimes ten or eleven times until it's perfect. Every single centimetre has to be perfect.

It's very demanding, and it's very precise, but I like that. On the ready-to-wear (collection) I can be more casual, easier, but at the same time it (goes to) quality check perfectly. But I think couture is something that I love doing. Maybe someday I would not doing when I feel not (right) to do it. First step is if I don't feel I like doing it. But now I love doing it. I have the energy for it. I keep doing it until I don't enjoy it. Sometimes I go to a country house and do nothing. But for now it's fun.
Can you tell me the inspiration of this collection?

The inspiration of this collection is from what I really feel like wearing. It's really like what crosses my mind, I feel like it, but wearing it doesn't come as it was exactly, the way of thinking, the way of doing. And I think your brain everyday absorbs different things and at the end of the day like before you fall  asleep . It's like a computer.
Is there a specific time you get inspiration? Maybe in the morning, or before bed?

No, it's mostly before falling asleep, then I sketch it in the dark. And I work it the next day. My way of working is very logical. I didn't study fashion.
I was good at maths in school. I don't know how the way I do it. It's just organic. But it's very mathematical and (related to) architect. So you have to think it as a building inside building, to construct things. 
And the material that you used? I saw a lot of leather.

Yes, leather,
cape du soir, ottoman du soir, it's like the stripe silk. There's also cashmere. It's all very classical novel fabrics and for me it's chic so it's never out of style.

Can we go outside? It's a bit hot here.
(Then we walked outside, facing the garden unfold ahead)

A trench coat that you saw can be a backpack, it's a drapy bag. It looks like an evening dress but it's the same jacket that we transform into that... We have also some of the short vests, that when you remove the sleeve it becomes , dual technical on it, a corset. So that the a corset that you saw was made of jacket that was transform into that. And the same thing for the long skirt, that's a trench (coat) as well. So a lot of transformable pieces in the collection, and it's all based on anything with dimension. It's very mathematical. And you also have to make sure that when you zip it to become a corset, the proportion stays perfect, so a lot of technical part, and mathematical cut. It looks simple but it's very complicated. But it's very lovely. It's very challenging.
And there's new colour this season. Navy blue..
Yes, there's colour! There is mmm, old colour. There is black. Black is old colour. (I think he heard that as 'no colour'. Please excuse my accent) 
I mean, last season's colours were just black and white, and this season you showed navy blue, old blue.

Yes, I put blue. Navy blue, something that we didn't do before. A colour that always goes great. I find it timeless and very chic and it's close to black.

It's a very real collection. It's very me. It's very no...mmm,
(long pause, contemplating diction) no compromise. (Laugh)
What is your idea about gender?

Gender... For me it's not just about gender. It's about every limitation that we have in life, how we divide things by a girl, a man. A man should be like that, a woman should be like this. Or a woman should dress with code dressing. I am not anti feminist style or masculine style. I am with all size. I don't understand who decided this coat is (meant to be) for men or women. It took me years to understand men and women clothes to put together to create my unisex pattern. And then that pattern became my canvas, a base that I use every season but I work on it in terms of shapes, fabrics, but every fit that you saw is the same fit on a man and a woman. It looks very feminine on a woman and masculine on a man. But it's the way you style it. It's the way you wear it. And some people think that I may want to make man look like woman or woman look like man but that's not it at all.

I think everybody should be
(laugh), should wear it they want, the way they feel. If they feel casual, sensual, or whatever you like. You should do it the way you like, but don't strict yourself of being androgynous. (you can be) super sexy or whatever you want.
At the end of the collection they wore masks.

Yes, and that's my face.

At the same time it's the idea of season-less. A bit like the way I think. Season-less, genderless, timeless, ageless, race-less. And I like the guessing as well. Sometimes you don't know where they
are from. You can't say if they're from Brazil, China. They are mixed together. And I like that. I think people should be no nation and division. People are open.
What about your clients? Can you tell me a little bit about that?

I'm doing very well with my clients, They are very faithful.

I went bit back to my basic, like my base at the beginning. The first thing that you saw there's long boots. It's a pants. Then I said to myself, you know what, I started this thing and I want to come back to it. And that, there's a jcket when I started it five, six years ago, when I started it. It's not something that we have seen, but it became a trend and then I stopped. And I am back to it. Now, I don't care anymore if it becomes a trend or not. I just do what I like.

My clients are very faithful that they like what comes from me, and I think the way I design comes from me, coming from inside, the way I want to dress, and if I keep on being faithful to that, they will stay being faithful to me.
And the proportion? More men or women, because it works to both.

It's really balance. It's both.
The area?

Asian market is wonderful. Europe as well. US is starting to be really great too. North America. Middle east as well. It's wonderful how every nation, people react to it. It shows you that there's one of us everywhere. As I said before we're all the same.
And finally men can wear haute couture too.
Yes, I have men clients.
(and the man behind him put wide-smiled and nodded while I am asking the following question)

If there is someone never heard of you, how would you describe Rad Hourani?

It's a person on the planet that has a message about undefining the defined and someone who doesn't believe in age, gender, race, religion, any kind of thing that separates the world. I think my message is about that. And I do it in fashion and clothes because it's the first thing that you express yourself with. But I'm not just about that. I love writing. I love doing photography, I love doing film, (using) many different media to express myself. But I don't think myself as a fashion designer. I am not.
My last question, what was your breakfast this morning? (crowd laugh)
Fish, apricot, and bio-yoghurt. Oh, and coconut water.

Thanks Rad!

Signorefandi, fashion philosopher is he...