THE WOLF DANCE

U Magazine - - INTERVIEW - By SARAH SAUDI

Meet de­signer Hus­sein Bazaza and ex­plore the mag­i­cal story be­hind his latest col­lec­tion.

Hus­sein Bazaza is one of the Mid­dle East’s top emerg­ing tal­ents. His F/W ’15 col­lec­tion is a great ex­am­ple of his mind­blow­ing artis­tic ca­pa­bil­i­ties that es­cape the mun­dane to bring forth the ex­tra­or­di­nary. Bazaza’s latest col­lec­tion “Luna” – which means “moon” in Latin – is about a woman who falls in love with a wolf, only to be eaten by that wolf she loves; a story per­fectly por­trayed through his pieces and fab­rics of 3D prints and em­broi­dery. U: You’ve al­ways known you were des­tined for a ca­reer in fash­ion and the arts. Tell us more about that. HB: I’ve been sketch­ing since I was ten years old. It’s an un­ex­plain­able thing that comes from within. U: You stud­ied at the pres­ti­gious ESMOD Beirut In­ter­na­tional Fash­ion Ed­u­ca­tion Group and in­terned at Mai­son Rabih Kay­rouz.

How did that ex­pe­ri­ence help you pave the way to start your own fash­ion la­bel? HB: I didn’t plan to study fash­ion. My mother told me one day: “Hus­sein, you won’t be do­ing any­thing but de­sign”. By the time I grad­u­ated, ESMOD Beirut had in­vited me to teach the pat­tern-mak­ing course for un­der­grad­u­ates. I think it was the best thing I have done. I tried to get as much ex­pe­ri­ence as pos­si­ble in all !elds re­lated to fash­ion de­sign be­fore launch­ing my own brand with full con!dence. When I started, I felt there was an in­ter­est and de­mand for the styles I was cre­at­ing, which gave me the boost I needed to open up an ate­lier. U: De­scribe your per­sonal style. HB: It’s cre­atively wearable and dra­mat­i­cally ro­man­tic. U: Where do you !nd in­spi­ra­tion? HB: In ev­ery­thing that I can feel but no one can see.

U: What’s the story be­hind your F/W ‘15 col­lec­tion? HB: I launched this col­lec­tion, ti­tled "luna", last April at Fash­ion For­ward Dubai. "e col­lec­tion it­self is a story about a woman who falls in love with a wolf, only to !nd her­self eaten by the ob­ject of her de­sire. "e col­lec­tion in­cludes a fab­ric mash-up of python, mesh, lace, silk, jersey, vel­vet and wool to cre­ate sculp­tural 3D e'ect made of fab­ric el­e­ments. Prints & a sig­na­ture of mine & are used on silk dresses, shirts, skirts and sweaters. Shapes are both !tted and #ared at the same time. Em­broi­deries re­mained in this col­lec­tion as well. To cul­mi­nate the col­lec­tion, we pre­sented a lace col­lage tech­nique in a beau­ti­ful color pal­ette of pur­ple, nude, bur­gundy, light pink, acid green and black. We also in­tro­duced a leather coat with crocodile pock­ets styled over a lace dress, and a mesh and jersey dress with a bur­gundy and cobalt blue jacket. U: Walk us through your de­sign process. HB: I start with in­spi­ra­tion and mood boards then go into fab­ric se­lec­tion. A$er that, I spend some time !lter­ing; mak­ing sure I’ve nailed the per­fect mix of cat­e­gories. Ini­tially, I used to cre­ate avant­garde pieces, which were more artis­tic than wearable. With time, I learned to merge art and cre­ativ­ity with com­mer­cial wear­a­bil­ity to de­sign com­plete col­lec­tions where you can !nd cer­tain looks for di'er­ent oc­ca­sions. "is col­lec­tion is de­v­ided into cat­e­gories and ev­ery cat­e­gory has its own fo­cus, such as cuts, prints or drap­ing. Most im­por­tantly, our col­leciton fo­cuses on the !nish­ing.

U: You were a part of STARCH Foun­da­tion in Beirut; tell us a lit­tle about this ex­pe­ri­ence and your readyto-wear col­lec­tion. HB: In 2012, I was se­lected by STARCH Foun­da­tion to launch my !rst ready-towear col­lec­tion, which mapped out my sig­na­ture style. STARCH Foun­da­tion was the step­ping-stone for me and many de­sign­ers to have a space to show­case our work and en­able us to be­come part of the emerg­ing young de­sign­ers’ com­mu­nity in the re­gion. U: What was it like work­ing as a ju­nior de­signer for Elie Saab? HB: It was a won­der­ful ex­pe­ri­ence which al­lowed me to learn more about how the brand op­er­ates from the in­side and what goes into the de­sign and pro­duc­tion process. I am very thank­ful for that op­por­tu­nity, which also en­riched my pas­sion and gave me more con!dence to launch my own brand and open up the ate­lier. U: How did you feel when you won the ‘Best Emerg­ing De­signer’ for "e Mid­dle East Fash­ion Awards this year? HB: Un­for­tu­nately, I wasn’t able to at­tend the event and re­ceive this pres­ti­gious award in per­son, but I am very hon­ored and happy that I won. U: How do you spend your #ee time when you’re not de­sign­ing? HB: To be hon­est, there is no free time when you have your own brand. If I’m not de­sign­ing, then I’m at the ate­lier work­ing on !nish­ing or­ders, meet­ing clients or vis­it­ing fab­ric and ma­te­rial shops. It’s an on­go­ing process and I love to be in­volved in all its as­pects. U: What’s next for Hus­sein Bazaza? HB: "e last three years were in­cred­i­bly im­por­tant in my ca­reer. I was able to iden­tify my true sig­na­ture and keep the col­lec­tions grand, wearable and com­mer­cially sell­able at the same time. Cur­rently, my goal is to start work­ing on my S/S ‘16 col­lec­tion and launch it next sea­son.

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