Rad Hourani: Unisex

The Designer Distils His Androgynous Ethos with Choreographer Édouard Lock

Ballet dancer Zofia Tujaka transforms from ingénue to hard-edged vamp in Unisex, a neo-noir short directed by Rad Hourani. Shot in Montreal’s Phi Centre, the atmospheric performance sees Tujaka gesticulate to a haunting score by New York composer Nico Muhly. “Before I started designing my collections I bought a video and a photo camera,” explains the Jordan-born designer, who has cultivated a following with his all-black, cerebral collections from his Paris studio. “For me, movement is as important as design; as much as literature, as much as food.” Enlisting David Bowie and Frank Zappa collaborator Édouard Lock for the original choreography, the piece comes as part of Hourani’s multi-channel exhibition, Seamless, featuring five-years of graphic design work, photography and bespoke looks from his unisex haute couture collection. “For me, Édouard’s work represents the masculine and the feminine, the fast and the slow, the hard and the soft—all the contradictions.”

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    Mekele: Heaven

    A Sisyphean Performance From the Androgynous Montreal Artist

    “I've been working on ways to find calm and peace through sound,” explains Canadian musician Mekele, whose yearning new track “Heaven” captures the aftermath of lust and its actions. “I found myself in a very comfortable, meditated head space.” Set to the song taken from forthcoming debut album Monolith, today's video is directed by Melissa Matos and shot at the eerily isolated Bay of Fundy on Canada’s east coast, where Mekele undertakes a grueling journey inspired by Albert Camus’ The Myth of Sisyphus. “The process brought up questions about persistence and what drives us to do the things we do,” says Trusst studio co-founder Matos, whose list of Montreal music collaborators includes Grimes, Blue Hawaii and Jacques Greene; she partnered with the latter on an installation at London’s Tate Modern in May. “It was sometimes difficult to watch Meleke willingly nude and bound in pretty extreme conditions. The performance became his self-fulfilling quest.” “Heaven” marks three years of creative synergy between the audio-visual duo, also recognized for their experimental fashion videos and soundtracks for conceptual designer Rad Hourani and menswear wunderkind J.W. Anderson.

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    Race Imboden: Balancing Act

    The Olympic Fencer Turned Brooklyn Nighthawk Captured in His Natural Habitat

    Jonas Lindström presents a voyeuristic reflection on the dichotomous world of Race Imboden, the youngest, top-ranking foil fencer in the world. Today's film comes a little over a year after the flame-haired 20-year-old was spotted and signed by Request Model Management while competing at the London Olympic Games. “The idea was simple,” admits the German filmmaker and contributor to InterviewWallpaper* and Modern Matter. “We followed him around with the intention of just letting things happen.” Oscillating between work and play, Lindström cuts from Imboden lunging at the Brooklyn Bridge Fencing Club to striding through a neighborhood dive bar. “Fencing is all about dedication to a very fine technicality that can only can be learned through allowing yourself to be insane enough to submit your body and mind to the sport,” says Imboden, who walked the runway for Louis Vuitton and was shot by Alasdair McLellan for Topman for Spring/Summer 2013. “Modeling is more about letting that insanity shine through.” Imboden’s athletic virtuosity is matched by a passion for music that has seen him drum in a punk band, intern for record label Fool’s Gold and DJ—read on for his take on the top five artists currently soundtracking his life. 

    King Krule
    Lyrically and musically his album stands up to all the hype, which is rare these days. He’s got that low voice that makes him unique. “A Lizard State” may as well been the only song on my iPod this summer. 

    Danny Brown 
    It’s refreshing to hear a dude spitting about sniffing Adderall instead of how many diamonds there are in his chain. Plus his verse on A$AP's “1 train” blows everybody out of the water.

    Treasure Fingers
    Quality house music. Everybody needs to go down to the disco every once and a while. Like Danny Brown, he is a Fool’s Gold artist, and I have a soft spot for everything they put out. 

    The Searchers
    Who doesn't love a few broken-heart tunes from a British beat group. For me, their “Needles and Pins” is a tie with the Ramones version. 

    Buddy Holly and the Crickets
    You don't really need me to tell you they're fantastic. “Oh Boy” is a classic, and these kinds of rockabilly sounds have really stood the test of time.

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