Draped garments light up with what appears like a splattering of paint in a rainbow of colors. The merger of art and fashion is a constant in both industries but is generally left to established designers and artists – cue Yves Saint Laurent and Piet Mondrian, Elsa Schiaparelli and Salvador Dalí, or Louis Vuitton and Jeff Koons. Rahel Guiragossian is a burgeoning Lebanese designer whose eponymous brand is based in Switzerland, with three collections to her name. Meanwhile, the art she’s fashioning is storied and personal. Born into a dynasty of artists, led by the famed late Lebanese figurative painter Paul Guiragossian, her clothing features art lent from her grandfather, father, and brother. Guiragossian’s ethos for creating such pieces is what offers a new slant on the collaboration. Eschewing seasonal drops, the former Istituto Marangoni student – who has a master’s in sustainability in fashion from Berlin – wants her clients to buy her work like it is an art to be worn for years to come.
“The issue of the current industry standard is the wasteful, unappreciative, and ultra-fast environment,” she says. Fashion should be an investment like buying an art piece and not something that will eventually be thrown out.” To offer her clients a sense of exclusivity, each garment is fashioned from a different angle of the painting so that no two pieces are the same. To create the voluminous silhouettes, she drapes the fabric, eliminating any potential fabric waste in the process. “It’s our responsibility to think unconventionally and to set new standards,” she explains. “There isn’t just one way to approach sustainability.”
Originally published in the January 2020 issue of Vogue Arabia