Lebanese designer Hussein Bazaza’s latest showcase uses detail to decode emotion, says the designer.
What were your emotions following 4 August’s tragic events, and how did they inspire this collection?
They were all over the place. Emotions of fear, guilt, grief, shock, anger, hate, from going better to worse then slightly fine again. The chaos of all these feelings inspired this project.
Why was it important for you to illustrate this plight through your SS21 collection?
My main goal for every collection has always been to have a fully fledged experience come out of the story behind each one. The 4 August explosion happened to be a tragedy amid my brainstorming phase of SS21; I definitely was not going to create a collection inspired by anything else, and anyway, I couldn’t be inspired by anything else. My art has to always be meaningful – a soul in every project. I wanted people to relate and know we are all in this together. The collection and its fashion film were part of my recovery from the blast and helped me express myself the best way I could, and I hope it helped others connect with it.
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Talk us through specific pieces, where can we find these emotions in the designs?
Every piece is defined by an emotion; the nude corset featuring puffed Marie sleeves represents powerlessness as the sleeves were structured for armour and power; the short-sleeve mini dress featuring embroidered lines on ruffled and pleated tulle symbolises the nerves in our system, thus the feeling of nervousness, whereas the grey deconstructed shirt speaks for confusion. Every look was created to emit a specific emotion.
Despite the fact that this is your next spring/summer collection, you stated that you were not inspired to create light pieces fit for a warm summer. Tell us about this.
In the emotional sense, 2020 has been a cold year from the very beginning – we went through a revolution against our corrupt government, which still didn’t budge; the Covid-19 pandemic, which put us from one lockdown to the next and took so many precious lives; the economic crisis that turned life in Lebanon unliveable and threw our loved ones abroad… all of that and then some. We did not have a happy season; these couple of months are usually a much needed break in normal times, but this year they couldn’t even give us a breather, so I had to create outerwear for most of the looks to portray the need for more coverups against the cold-hearted year and as protection and shielding against the danger we’re living in. Besides, time just keeps passing by and at this point we don’t know which day we’re in, let alone season. Explore the collection at husseinbazaza.com