suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
Feyrouz ASHOURA: The “Breathtakers” is a hypothetical story about the evolution of the human anatomy. We are stuck between two eras, a time where the human kind has come to face one of the biggest changes of its history. As I am very inspired by the human being and the structure of our body itself, I constantly am in a pursuit of converting the ugliness I can recognize in humans to a so far undiscovered beauty. The whole idea behind this project was built all around the respiratory system, while I imagined it would undergo a mutation to follow the need to breathe under water by pushing our anatomy to another extent of our development, a transition between two kinds—the fusion triggered by the terrestrial and the underwater world that blooms into a newborn species.
To translate this concept into fashion, I took a sculptural approach. My way of creating garments is a process of sculpting around the human body, reversing our skeleton, taking our anatomy inside out, building new structures around the body with manipulated fabric to make it a new kind of shell, a second skin.
The jacket consists of lamb leather and a python base which represents the epidermis, covered with silk organza which i first handprinted and pleated in a certain manner to render this 3d structural effect which at the same time embodies a fictional organic system synthesized by gills, fins and vertebrae all around the ribcage and on the back. The structure of the jodhpur pants lays in the waistband which is created by the same pleating procedure out of silk gazar and flows into a draped silk jersey that evoques the aspect of water.
The Reason for which I named this collection “The Breathtakers” comes from two backgrounds, one being the literal meaning of the breathtaking appearance that results from this modification of the human kind and second being the underlining wordplay of the newly developed hybrid taking possession of the “ancient” human species respiratory complex and adapting it to its own destiny.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
FA: A lot of architecture; sharks; sculpture, paperfolding, origami; anatomy, Darwin’s evolution theory.
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
FA: Rachmaninoff’s “Piano Concerto #2 & #3”; Tchaikovsky’s “Piano Concerto #1”; Vivaldi’s “Summer & Winter”; “Glory” by Ryan Leslie; “Racing With The Sun” by Chinese Man; “Congratulations” by Shawn Chrystopher; Crystal Castles’s “Empathy”; “Keep it Rollin” by Kid Ink; Lupe Fiasco’s Lasers; and tons of Wu Tang Clan, Muse, Ratatat, and The XX.
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
FA: Iris Van Herpen, Mary Katrantzou, Givenchy Couture by Ricardo Tisci, Basil Soda, Hernan Diaz Alonso, Christos Koukis, Michael Hansmeyer. God’s work as in human beings and nature.
Additional credits and links:
Studies at ESMOD International Paris, France. Internship at Iris Van Herpen
Garments & Shoes: Feyrouz Ashoura
Makeup: Feyrouz Ashoura
Model: Stephanie Lambert
Photographer: Kader Hadjadj