Oh how I love featuring our region’s talented and brightest fashion designers. And this post is no exception. Meet Saudi-based Razan Alazzouni.
When I first saw Razan’s creations I immediately felt like wearing one of her full and pretty dresses and twirl and whirl around, again and again. Her designs celebrate my girly side and that’s why I loved them. So I had the pleasure to interview Razan and find out what made her start a career in fashion design.
"Ever since I was a little girl I would watch my grandmother sow, my mother dress up , and my aunt create worlds of art . That transformed my vision of the world. So I would say I grew up in a very very very artistic environment. A house where we would always learn a craft or a skill. Each of my siblings are artist as well but my path always seemed to be headed towards the fashion world. I always payed a lot of attention to my wardrobe and of course memorized my mothers closets. By borrowing pieces to make my outfit look different I developed a personal style", expressed Razan. "I was never able to buy an evening gown I always couldn't find something I loved, so I would design my own dresses for special occasions I would attend".
Razan continues "I applied to art schools to pursue my university degree in art. Attending The School Of The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston I fiddled in every art field I could manage to squeeze myself into, until I discovered the sculpture department. I started working with that medium and realized that the topics of all of my projects where fashion related. In my senior year I took on paper making and started to create sculptural cloths made from hand made eastern paper, light weight metal and wood. Later in my senior year a friend, Natalia Rovner inquired about a dress I'm wearing which was one of my own designs and later asked me to design her a gown for an event. That was my first commissioned work. With unlimited support from my family I started my fashion line Razan Alazzouni".
"Of course like any business I started small, working out of my house. Using and abusing my families artistic talents. I employed my younger sister Raya as my graphic designer, my sister Salwa as my business manager , my brother Suleiman as my fashion photographer , and doubling myself as the designer and model until my company grew and gained some recognition in the middle east. This year Razan Alazzouni dressed its first celebrity, AnnaSophia Robb for the independent spirit awards and made her first impression in the American market".
And on what inspires her designs, Razan expressed "Many things inspire me, life and the elements around me are a constant inspiration. As a result of studying sculpture I tend to think of my cloths as installations rather than garments of cloths. To further clarify matters, my beading is what I like to think of as my signature in my clothing. All materials are chosen very carefully for there thickness, feel and translucency. My beading is hand made to create dimension on these pieces of clothing. Most of the beading is a compilation of layering beads over each other to create portals and allow the light to effect the viewers intake of the garment.
Any favorite designer? "John Galliano of course is an inspiration because of his originality and ability to move history into the future. Herve L. Leroux, is an artist I admire, creating pleats and sculpting clothing to the female body. Riccardo Tisci and Olivier theyskens are also favorites of mine".
Here are some of my favorite Razan Alazzouni's designs from her S/S2011 and A/W2012 collections.