In a few, short years, inaugural 2015 DDFC/Vogue Fashion Prize winner, Hussein Bazaza, went from Lebanese up-and-coming designer to regional darling—even garnering praise from Naomi Campbell, who wrote to Vogue Arabia that in the Middle East, she looks to “Hussein Bazaza for fresh innovation.”
Ahead of his packed Fashion Forward show, Bazaza screened an illustrated short that informed that the Spring 2018 collection would introduce five battling characters, representing (his) personality traits vying to win pride of place. Out marched models in his signature blend of texture and color: burgundy, blush rose, royal blue, and metallics fused together in a jigsaw puzzle of fabric—tweed, tulle, lace, and sheer silk—that is unmistakably Bazaza.
While his color blocking focused on furthering the line, the designer’s embellishments pushed creative boundaries. Striking landscapes of crowned, white bunnies; preying eagles; a pulsing heart with evil eye at its center; and even a sparkling Batman, cloaked in a sequined, starry night and rising from flames, decorated dresses and skirts to the delight of the crowd.
Midway through the show, one blaze orange dress appeared as if from another collection, and designer entirely. Perhaps it was the first time the crowd had witnessed a one-color piece by Bazaza. While it did not fit with the aesthetic of this ceremonial collection, it drew looks for its fluidity and asymmetrical cut. “I wanted to try something different,” said Bazaza backstage. Perhaps he should start considering a sister line, for those who shy away from his more is more approach. As it would appear, he can crack minimalism, too.