Speaking to Style.com/Arabia ahead of his Fall 2013 Couture show, Hourani said of his design process: “I never begin by sketching actual clothes. I start by drawing architectural shapes, lines, and patterns.” After viewing the collection, we imagine Hourani, protractor and drafting compass in one hand, Razor Point Pilot pen in the other, obsessively drawing line after line, twisting, and transforming shapes, concepts, and patterns.
For this Couture collection, Hourani possibly hit the apex of mathematical complexity with a calculated study on transformability. No longer satisfied with producing clothes that are suited for both sexes—he wants to continue to stretch their wearability, too. Trench coats substitute as backpacks—even “frontpacks”—and pants are also shorts, if you can wind your mind around that one.
Dressed in a palette of white, black, and inky blue, models soldiered about the grassy, rectangular show space in square-cut, multi-layered jackets; pants, shorts, or both; and accessorized with black or white thigh-high heeled boots, suggesting that they were ready for whatever life threw at them—be it a trip to an other-worldly luxe meditative retreat, or, glancing again at those boots, a long night on the “trottoir” (sidewalk). Another detail that we caught was the monastic white collar featured on many looks, perhaps an homage to a growing cult-like following—or not.
While Hourani has our attention with his dogma of unisex couture, many challenges lie ahead for the designer, including showing us, and most importantly, himself, that he can still push barriers and introduce us to new silhouettes which will continue to goad new language. Hourani’s collections are always a continuation of what he has already proposed before. We just don’t know what is left to say anymore. Whether that is due to our lack of vocabulary—or Hourani’s—is up for debate.