THE WOLF DANCE
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.