Friday, June 1, 2012

Textile Friday: Rami Kashou and the Paper Dress

                 I have roughly 25 designers I love to watch, most of them are over 50. It's an odd truth in this business that a designer at 50 is seen as just hitting their stride and designers in their 70s and 80s are not considered uncommon. It seems to take time to master the various elements and develop a signature style.
                 There's 3 major designers under 50 that I love to watch and I thought I would share a guilty pleasure with you while I work on filling client orders. We've got a lovely backlog I am enjoying getting caught up on after Animazement. Meet Rami Kashou. I originally got to see Rami Kashou on Project Runway, another guilty pleasure, on Season 4 back in 2007/2008 where he placed as runner-up.
                 Rami is one of those people who's story I can really identify with, he started in retail and after getting disenchanted with the selection, bought himself 3 sewing machines, and taught himself to sew by taking apart designer clothing over a number of years.  Again and again, you hear him talking about why he designs and it's because he finds women beautiful and sees them as muses. You can really see it in the way his clothing moves. Interesting quality for a gay man, I hope he eventually does men's clothes as well as I think it would be worth seeing too. My hairdresser Ray reminds me a lot of Rami. They have the same sweet smile and low voice.
                 Rami has a number of high profile clients, think Madonna at the Super Bowl, but a rich client is not very impressive. Instead, you should watch the clothing move! They're just beautiful. Generally few designers can do asymmetry, but he pulls it off. Watch his recent bridal collection for Bebe. He also has a line of paper dresses he does for Papyrus, a paper company, which is incredibility interesting. Few people have this ability to manipulate either fabric or paper.
                  His current weakness from an American perspective that he is growing out of has been mentioned by editors is a lack of color editing. Not his use of color, but his ability to edit his color story for American taste. American color stories are more limited than European or Milan resting around 40 colors vs. 280. Rami reminds me more of an Italian designer than an American one in this respect. I have yet to decide if this is an actual weakness or not. I think that Bebe this season is probably one of the better matches he's done and I think he would do well in Latin America clothing. But he's a young designer with an interesting road ahead of him. I wish him all the best and enjoy seeing what next object of beauty he designs.

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