Lebanese clothier Nour Hage on the subtleties of men’s fashion

Fashion design often operates, pretty intentionally, at two extremes: it both provides itself as absolutely apolitical or exists to make an announcement. Nour Hage, a Lebanese designer, living in London, treads a more nuanced direction, one with a strong social message. Inspired through Arab lifestyle and targeting young Arabs and South Asians who take pride in their roots, her designs appearance to conventional cuts and silhouettes, but are realized in modern and versatile styles.

Hage is uncommon in other approaches, too. She is an environmentalist who works inside the global’s 2d-maximum polluting enterprise. And even though she was officially trained in designing womenswear, she is one of the handiest younger Arab female designers who has chosen to focus on planning for guys. A step she made these days.

A circulate into menswear.

Two collections into her new role as a menswear fashion designer, Hage, and her garments have already stuck the attention of several famous figures. Firas Abou Fakher, guitarist and keyboardist with Lebanese indie band Mashrou’ Leila, wore a shiny blue abaya designed using Hage at a concert in New York last 12 months. And Riz Ahmed, an Emmy-winning British actor and activist of Pakistani descent, acknowledged for his refusal to comply with ­Hollywood stereotypes, wore Hage’s designs for a photoshoot with GQ mag September.

men fashion

It’s guys including those – younger, bold, socially, and politically engaged – that Hage hoped to draw when she got down to rejoice and update traditional Middle East garments, from thobes and abayas to collarless shirts and Patras. However, her garments aren’t centered particularly at Arab customers at a brand new generation of fellows who “want to put on clothes that say something approximately their vision of the world – their openness and their interest approximately cultures and traditions,” she explains.

Spring/summer season 2019

This month, Hage released her spring/summer season series, 02: In Lands Akin to Yours, centered on ­Palestinian clothes. She became stimulated with the aid of creator, researcher, and oral historian, Yazan Kopty’s mission, Imagining the Holy, a collection of unpublished pix taken in Palestine because 1909 by using the National Geographic Society. Kopty uses them to counter the erasure and appropriation of Palestinian subculture, even as Hage has based her variety on the stunning clothing worn by using the men in these archival snapshots.

Using linen and cotton, Hage created long, tailor-made shirts, mounted off-center with a row of buttons, and free, draped brief-sleeved jackets blanketed with swirling styles in greys and fawns. Unexpected details deliver her pieces an edgy, contemporary feel, consisting of the small, asymmetric panels of contrasting material she places at the bottom left of every of her lengthy thobe-like shirts. Her first menswear collection, called Zero One, become characterized via flowing shapes and vibrant colorations. A dramatic floor-duration thobe included with a best leaf print in cream and gray-green become paired with a sharp black blazer, and a voluminous jacket was constructed from a rich gold material. Hage’s style, which contrasts minimalist layout with eye-catching materials and styles, is stimulated via her love for ­Japanese clothing and her research into traditional Arab garments.

“The apparel turned into pretty minimalistic, but the fabric has constantly been very wealthy, whether within the embroidery or the styles or the weaving or the colors,” she says. “Men used to dress colorfully within the region. Why did we simply prevent it? I desired to carry that returned. There’s a softness within the manner Arab men have constantly dressed, specifically within the Gulf international locations and North Africa. I wanted to translate that – softness inside the fabric, softness in the shapes. It’s not too rigid and based, and it gives room for movement,” she provides.

Much extra flexible.

Working carefully with her pal Sultan Al Darmaki, a prominent Emirati shoe designer, on her first series, Hage primarily based one of the portions on a custom thobe she designed for Al Darmaki, which functions slits up the perimeters, allowing him to wear it over trousers. Other conventional clothes have also been reimagined to fit modern tastes, using lighter fabrics and simpler fastenings. “The clothes are much narrower to the body than traditionally, due to the fact current men need to put on matters that are slimmer,” she explains. “The gadgets are a whole lot more versatile.

Hage says the reception her collections have acquired is a pleasing marvel. Women, as well as guys, are attracted to her unusual clothes and the concept behind them. “The brand is rooted not best in Arab identification, however also in storytelling and cultural references, so there’s always a message that I want to position out or a tale that I want to tell.

The concept of clothes and how they could assert individuality first piqued Hage’s interest simultaneously as she changed into nevertheless at faculty. Bored with the aid of the uniform, she commenced experimenting with ways to face out. In her first yr at Parsons Paris School of Art and Design, she decided that her calling lay in style design. She elected to look at prepared-to-put on womenswear because she says she didn’t understand that menswear will be interesting. After stints at Elie Saab and Oscar de la Renta, she landed a process running with German dressmaker Damir Doma in Paris. It changed into there that she fell in love with the subtleties of fellows’ fashion.

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