With a year of designing under her belt, Razan Alazzouni's line is starting to garner the attention it deserves. Spotted on Giuliana Rancic, Whitney Port, Emma Roberts, and Paris Hilton (and more!), Razan is taking Hollywood by storm. Inspired by her background of native Saudi Arabia and schooling in Boston, Razan combines her artistic sensibility with her love of fashion to create a breathtaking line of perfectly feminine pieces. Her signature embroidery and elaborate beading are right on-trend with the overly embellished baroque styles coming up this fall, but hers stand apart in pastel colors and lighter-than-air silhouettes. Open backs, flowy skirts, and cropped tops, her pieces are filled with enough magic to make anyone's heart skip a beat.
Scrolling through Razan's designs, her inspiration appears (details from times past, classic silhouettes and traditional Saudi Arabian elements) and everything comes together in perfect form for her Winter 2012 collection. We see big things in the horizon for this inspiring designer and just had to catch her at the start. Join us as we step into Razan's world to discover where she began and where she's hoping to go next. Read on to learn all about Razan Alazzouni and check out her full collection so you can choose which you'll be slipping into for your next soirée...
StyledOn: So, you started in fine arts...what inspired you to switch and try your hand at fashion? What was the first piece you designed?
Razan Alazzouni: Even while I dabbled in sculpture and paper making, fabric, lighting, and the human figure had always been the main indulgence in my art. I made dresses out of paper and wire. I can't remember the first piece I designed...I have a sketchbook I started when I was 11 years old with drawings of dresses, gowns, and suits. At the time I thought they would be the height of fashion.
SO: Art and fashion are so similar as much of fashion (including your beautiful dresses!) can be considered art. Is your process for creating both similar? Does your art inspire your designs, or do they both come from totally seperate places?
RA: They are both one and the same to me. The most fun and most exciting part of designing to me is wokring on creating new embroidery and beading designs for each collection. The process of designing a piece of clothing is very similar to building a sculpture. You start with some blueprints, then decide on the mechanism and movement. Later you make the parts and put them together. I think of fashion as wearable art! In my opinion, one of the most influential mediums is art.
SO: Who is the Razan Alazzouni woman? Did you have her in mind when you created the brand, or has she been formed by the brand's evolution?
RA: The Razan Alazzouni woman is a whimsical, feminine lady that expresses herself through her clothes. A woman who is always ready to twirl in circles just for fun. The brand was built around this notion of a lady, although I must admit the vision is constantly evolving with every season.
SO: If you could describe your line in three words, what would they be?
RA: I would say feminine, romantic with an edge, and over-dressed.
SO: Growing up in Saudi Arabia and going to school in Boston must have been two very different experiences. Do you think both influences show up in your work, or are you more inspired by your time in one place than the other?
RA: Growing up in a country with such a rich culture definitely influences my work. My embroidery and beading is a trademark that you can find in our traditional garments. Living in Boston really opened my eyes to the world of art. Going to art school exposed me to so many new mediums of art that I never fully understood. I learned how to translate my emotions and concepts into visual pieces, which is a tool I use while designing each collection
SO: What, to you, is good design?
RA: I think good design is impeccable finishing and a perfected cut.
SO: If you could collaborate with anyone on anything, who and what would it be?
RA: Bruce Munro, creator of gardens of light installations. He mainly works with lighting, and it would be really interesting to see how his light would reflect off our beading.
SO: Your A/W 2011 and Winter 2012 collections seem to be very different from each other, but both stunning in their own right. Is there any particular reason why?
RA: As a fashion label we are constantly evolving and being inspired by what women need. The winter 2012 caters to the more modern woman who needs to dress up and be practical at the same time. The essence of our brand, however, is evident in the beading and embroidery that both collections have.
SO: Where do you see your line going in ten years? Any plans to expand?
RA: At the moment we have two main collections, Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter. However, in the coming years we are working on introducing four collections for the Razan Alazzouni line, pre-fall and resort, as well as having a runway show and opening a flagship boutique.
SO: What are your main sources of inspiration?
RA: I am inspired by history, by stories, by my grandmother and my mother. I love looking at old archival photos from fashion houses like Dior and Valentino. I love seeing how the old cuts are translated into new designs.
SO: Which design (from any of your collections) do you think best captures the spirit of Razan Alazzouni?
RA: More than cut, I feel like our beading is our signature, as well as our fabric. I love working with organza, lace, and silk.
Has Razan Alazzouni captured your heart? Take off in one of her pieces today!