Palestinian American fashion designer Lulu Harazin, not only wowed the audience with her stunning AW18 fashion on the runway but blew us away with a kaleidoscope of colours! Lulu, showcased at Los Angeles Fashion Week, with Art Hearts Foundation, however, this isn’t her first major showcase, she showed previously at New York Fashion Week, too.
Harazin’s delicate, flowing and graceful designs were shown to a backdrop of stunning desert landscapes, perhaps a nod to the Middle East; a snap-shot of her heritage shining through? She combined Abayas and Kaftans, with graceful gowns; merging textiles, colours and creativity, for the bold woman.
Getting the chance to discuss Lulu’s Palestinian heritage, along with her motivation and inspirations was refreshing to say the least, she puts a spark in womenswear with class and creativity.
What is your earliest memory of fashion?
I grew up in the industry. In my family, I have five brothers, I’m the only girl within. My father and my brothers owned, and operated a design and sewing factory in Gaza, they did everything from sketching, to fabric sourcing, as well as pattern making, cutting and sewing, and even distribution to all nearby countries. I was the only child in the family that was not involved in the operation but was able to witness the process, having said that, I was encouraged to study and concentrate at school. With an unprecedented amount of fabric, I had access to, I would try to make clothes for myself and for my dolls, copying my older brothers designs. However, one day he discovered what I was doing, and taught me properly, how to create patterns- from that day on I was amazed how a sketch I would draw, would come alive!
Where does your inspiration come from, within creating your designs?
I’m really inspired by Middle Eastern fashion and fabric, as well as colours, to hand-beaded work and embroidery. I always wondered what if, I used that fabric to create pieces, not only a Middle Easterner would wear, but also women all over the world. I also, love nature and colours. I love flowers! I like to design for the woman that knows her self-worth, the women that want to be unique, the woman who is strong, and can face any obstacle that comes her way.
Can you tell us about your most recent collection’s inspiration, and key looks?
The AW 18 collection entitled, ‘Strength’, was inspired by the strong Middle Eastern women who, no matter what obstacle she comes across, manages to look regal. To look fabulous whether it’s in a cape, Kaftan, Abaya or a bedazzled dress. I tried to tell a story by mixing the two cultures together, East and West. A story of a Middle Eastern woman who is within the early stages of her engagement, going through the process of a henna party, where the woman wears one of our traditional pieces, like a cape or abaya. Moving on in the process, is the engagement- wearing a mix of traditional and contemporary. Following on into the looks is the ‘honey moon’ phase, with designs made for the beach, such kaftans. I would say my key looks, were my bedazzled dresses and capes, demonstrating that women can look regal and elegant in a traditional piece or graceful in a bedazzled dress.
What would you say your signature is, for Lulu Harazin, the label?
For my signature pieces, I will always have Kaftans in my collections. I am in love with Kaftans and how they are simply elegant and light. I also, will always have my couture line. I appreciate every bead that goes into my designs, through these beads I can tell a story, I am able to use these beads as paint on a canvas, to express who I am, and the women I am designing for.
What’s your opinion on fashion within the Middle East?
Fashion in the Middle East is becoming more and more current, and I’m amazed of how far we have come, with thanks to our fabulous designers who are taking over the Red-Carpets, Oscars, and Sag Awards, for example. However, we have brilliant talents who have yet to be discovered. I believe, that in the Middle East, we are up to date within fashion, and currently we are the main creators. I want to tell women to stay the way they are, and to the few who don’t follow fashion, to just be gutsy and not to settle for boring clothes.
Who would be your favourite person to dress, and why?
I have more than one, I would say my favourite people to dress within the Middle East, would be Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned of Qatar, and Queen Rania of Jordan, as well as Oprah Winfrey, and many more of course! I love to dress women in general, who knows their self-worth.
What’s your plan for the coming future?
Since my NYFW show and collection, as well as most recent show at Los Angeles Fashion Week, I want to concentrate on the season ahead, refresh my inspirations, create new ideas, and just enjoy the design process.
Discover more about Trailblazing Lulu, here.