By Olivia Melkonian
I have always seen life, mostly as a temporary stage, filled with worries, hassles, fake compliments and hectic mornings of not being our true selves. Therefore, I feel the afterlife we will be entering will be super simple and comforting. As when we were little kids and imagine spirits roaming around wide, spacious spaces in flowing white fabrics, relaxed, flying untamed, caring less in the simplest way and not even talking or expressing themselves.
The only thing I can relate this vision to is the afterlife, where it’s very simple and spiritual to connect with one’s inner self and personality which can be translated and shown in this collection with maximum comfort and minimal design.
My hometown is filled with beautiful natural sights, nature and outstanding architecture from vintage homes to modern buildings. Inspiration comes naturally from the outside world: on an early day drive, a coffee errand around the city or a camping weekend in the desert. Minimalism, neutral colors and raw materials can be found literally everywhere in Kuwait which are the main elements of Raw Studios.
Since I was a little, I’ve loved to express my personality and creativity in my daily outfits. Therefore, as a teen I decided that it’s going to be a way to make people feel better in timeless, minimal fits. Also, it might be the easiest way to reach people in one of their essentials – clothing. Art can be preserved in so many ways, at Raw Studios it can be seen and felt through minimalism, cuts, fits, colors and the personal, more spiritual connection to whoever is wearing the piece.
All of the materials used in producing our collections are tested for longevity if taken care of well as advised upon purchase. As Raw Studios is a slow fashion house, I personally care about fabrics and materials aging, so we don’t have excess production and wasted pieces to reach less impact on the environment. The use of traditional and contemporary methods merge to form practical timeless designs. Both looks and fabric/material should never be outdated which can be easily reached with good material and care of the raw piece.
As he is a family friend, I knew by spelling my Afterlife vision he would be the one to realize and translate it into a beautiful lookbook. Humoud’s work has always been focused on nature and the human factor, therefore he was keen on developing that in a fashion shoot. It was a very smooth process, with my creative direction and his talent we achieved our goal and I couldn’t be happier with the results.
Literally everything. Starting from having a vision, translating it into sketches, digital sketching, material hunting, testing, adapting pieces and finally arranging a lookbook. As a Creative Director and a CEO at the same time, I constantly overlook most processes to make sure that customers would have the perfect experience and satisfaction of their purchase. Also to feel what vision the collections are aiming for to deliver.
I was getting inspired by cultures, architecture and nature from all around the world. I used to create clothing for myself as I didn’t see my visions regarding clothing available everywhere. As I founded Raw Studios in 2015, my main aim was to never stop developing, reading and researching to reach a finer product the next day. I’m constantly educating myself more about fashion and art by how it can be able to reflect on people’s existence as human beings.
It has been a true challenge for me to have the acceptance from both genders. Yet, I try to work by skipping the fine line between them and see what can be worn regardless of defining who you are. Another factor that would affect unisex garments is the culture, where fits can be defined by where you are coming from as a man or woman. Therefore, at Raw Studios we are creating designs that are gender-less and can be worn by all body shapes, skin colors and ages.
If we talked about Afterlife, we would see simple, flowing, oversized, and timeless silhouettes that can be seamlessly worn, which is expressed in the status of one’s feeling in his afterlife. The simple, uncomplicated life can be translated in the neutral colors and plain materials. I chose this medium to reach customers in ways that they can relate to themselves personally, spiritually and artistically.
Honestly, I see all of the pieces from any collection that I create as my kids and you can’t choose a favorite child. Therefore, I won’t be able to answer this question and I will always favor all of my collections as one.
Photography credits/Humoud AlNasrallah for Raw Studios