Rad Hourani Fall 2009 – New York Fashion Week

Rad Hourani’s showcase was far removed from New York Fashion Week in more ways than one. Geographically, his choice of venue was nestled in the heart of SoHo about five subway stops and a transfer south of Bryant Park. But even further out was Hourani’s absolute artistic inflexibility, as he went into high fashion mode for his latest collection.

No, there were no bright, friendly colors to be found nor were there any safe combinations. The whole collection also looked strikingly similar. Only three colors were used: black, dark gray and dark blue. However, Hourani used a variety of shiny leathers, flat fabrics, sequins, and translucent materials to present those colors. Several outfits sported heavily folded black wool cloaks, leather vests and sparkling silver accents.

Hourani stated on his invitation card that he wanted to create a “no-background” collection, with no references to any time period, location or tradition. Sexuality wasn’t in the equation either. The models were all androgynous, with slicked back short hair and of similar heights and thickness (read: impossibly rail thin). The aesthetic—as well as the brisk walking pace of the models—provided an eerily dystopian and uniform-like feel to the collection.

Admittedly, the clothing couldn’t be considered conventionally wearable by any stretch of the imagination. It’s doubtful that crotch-high leather boots would become a must have fall item for either men or women, given that nearly all models wore them. Still, his lack of compromise is laudable—if risky—in a time when economic struggles are causing retailers to favor the commercially friendly rather than the artistic.

Photo Gallery: Rad Hourani Fall 2009 – New York Fashion Week
all photos by Wade-Hahn Chan / Meniscus Magazine