In Rad Hourani

Seeing in The Dark

I think every teenager goes through a black period at some point in their immortal adolescence.  They walk around brooding and in a gothic-like funk.  Black clothing becomes a direct outlet to express a connection to how they see the world and their existence in it.  I see it as a searching period.  We often use colors to capture a mood and to convey a message to others.  So it makes sense that when one dons black, that sense of mystery may be coming from within as they search for their own structure and meaning.  Herein, color doesn't matter as it just distracts from an answer.

Dare I say Rad Hourani is searching.  Not a teenager and in many ways has figured out a lot already to have such a cult following, his search may be more of one to inform what he's learned in differing ways more than a quest.  His message may be of structure and form to which several avant-garde designers before him, like the 'Antwerp Six', have meandered into in order to highlight a desire to remain mentally enlightened.  Enlightment and self  awareness through not seeing a need to convey mood, attitude or purpose through color.


Since we tend to attach color to various references, I enjoy watching Mr. Hourani's collections since you see how structure stands when that's all you have to look at.  For Fall 2011 he seemed to be inspired by reversing conventional ideas of garment dressing.  Much of his collection was literally just that, reversed.  Pieces like outerwear layers with apron or dressing gown-like back openings challenged our normal ways of getting into everyday clothing while somehow suggesting how we should reevaluate our understandings of comfort, proportion and front to back. 



There were interesting textures in the collection that gave the black fabrics nuances of tone that only highlighted the layering story.  Large square cut shapes were manipulated into that apron silhouette, great modernized kimono-esque outerwear and jackets and wonderful mysteriously wrapped dresses and skirts whose fit seemed to radiate out from hidden seams.  Draped fabrics from lambskins to wool to nylons wrapped and pulled across the body with ease as opposed to effort, giving a light air to the sea of night shades.


Sometimes I look at Mr. Hourani as the goth kid in high school who grew up but never stopped searching for the right way to tell the world his message.  Maybe his message is age old; that instead of judging something by its color, see it for the content of its character.




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