Rad Hourani Ready To Wear Spring Summer 2015 Paris
Like in the Matrix, Rad Hourani could be anyone. Save for the geometric neckline of his gray t-shirt and the sculptural leather jacket, he wore slung over his shoulders and secured by two cunning straps to keep it steady, the gentle and affable visualist - jack-of-all-creative-trades Hourani prefers this term to "designer" - cuts a much less imposing figure than his thunderous work implies. Receiving his guests simply in his rue Charlot gallery, there is ample time to dissect the radicality of Rad. His aesthetic hinges on a singular idea, simple pieces with a complex construction.
Not a curve is to be had. Hourani seems to offer nothing of the organic. That is for the bodies encased within his creations to bring. But consider this: what is purer and more timeless in design than the line? Season after season, he creates collections that are dateless, ageless, sexless and in a broader sense, label-less. And, if his clients are to be believed, body elongating too. Rather than imposing a uniform, Hourani says that he is creating a canvas. "My customer can be anyone, anywhere, any age, really. It goes from the banker looking for a sharp jacket to an art curator wanting an evening outfit, or even to people looking for a tee-shirt." At odds with the progressive aesthetic that these garments portend, comfort is at the heart of the young designer's preoccupations. Grabbing the hem of a hoodie, he is proud to display not only the square seams at the crown of the head, further proof that there isn't a single curve at play in his work, but mostly, the soft poplin used to line it. There is throughout a punctilious attention to the three Fs of garment design: function, fit and finish.
"Couture is respect for craftsmanship," he continued as the conversation meandered around his career, invitation to the Haute Couture calendar and his unexpected appreciation of the square sequin, "I was invited to show on schedule because I've always worked this way, instinctively. So when the time came to balance my company, more affordable options for materials was the natural next step." But where, if anywhere, is the difference between this and his couture? Indeed, where his ready-to-wear deviates from its upscale inspiration is in materials, rather than cuts or concepts. Leather is replaced in many pieces by foiled fabric - with the exception of limited edition pieces - and simplifications are done by removing linings, or less time consuming finishings.
Above all, Hourani aims to place the wearer and their existence back as the central purpose. Quite the powerful statement in a sales-driven industry. Clothes maketh the man; this man challenges everything.