Lebanon's Hussein Bazaza unveils seasonless collection that explores 'predators and prey’

An accompanying film offers an unnerving portrait of the fear many women feel while walking alone after dark

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Hussein Bazaza has dropped his latest collection, entitled Predation, along with a stirring video that highlights the unease many women feel while walking alone at night.

Intentionally made to be seasonless, the collection continues the Lebanese designer's willingness to buck the trend, going against what he describes as “typical seasonal trends or schedules". As a result, Predation shifts from heavy wintry layers through to gossamer-fine dresses, perfect for summer.

The 31-piece women’s collection is made, or rather assembled, from fragments of tweed, leather, wool, mesh, men’s suiting, satin and glossy patent fabrics, sharply tailored together, with an effect that both covers yet exposes at the same time.

The new Predation collection is a mix of watchful eye patterns and cuts that both cover and expose. Courtesy Hussein Bazaza

Well-known for his superb cutting skills, Bazaza has an ability to manipulate fabric in ways many others cannot, and this collection shows that to full effect, such as a blouson-hooded jacket, patchworked with precision and over-quilted for a padded, luxurious feeling.

Elsewhere, a fit-and-flare dress has a top that has been stripped away, leaving just its architectural structure behind.

In the collection's notes, Bazaza speaks of being inspired by the "hypocrisy in today's world", saying that the collection is a tale of "human predators and prey".

This somewhat unsettling premise comes through as a pattern of eyes covering several pieces, staring back at the viewer, and many cut-away elements that hint at vulnerability, as more tailored structures offer strength.

Corseting elements appear – to literally give backbone – and even a heavy grey wool cape arrives, with huge sleeves and a Little Red Riding Hood air, to remind us we can all stand up to the Big Bad Wolf if we have to.

Bodices come tightly overstitched, in gorgeous Deco-like curves, but they also feel like the quilted cloth armour of old, as beautiful teardrop applique patterning on skirts, tops and sleeves add extra layers between the skin and the outside world.

In an accompanying video to showcase the collection, the focus is on a woman alone in an underlit basement space.

As she repeatedly turns to check behind her, it is a stark reminder of the feeling of unease many women feel walking alone after dark.

In his notes, Bazaza refers to the “mental journey that will take us through everything we’ve ever been silenced to say or even try to think", showing that this fear every woman knows is also something universal, with the ability to unite us all.

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