Can someone please harness the prolific energies of local Designer Hassan Idriss?
One minute we’re drooling over his superb dresses and gowns, the next exclaiming at his prodigious wax sculptures, and next we are left mesmerized by his oh-so-interesting array of books laying on his library shelf.
Keeping up with Hassan’s life is grueling (we’re just jealous; obviously we love it).
In an exclusive interview, he tells Home for Christmas about his passion for the trade, his love for fireworks and explains why fashion design “is a dog” (yes, you’ve read that right, a dog). Keep on perusing because Hass – as I like to affectionately call him – is on a roll, soon to make a great impact.
Interview with Hassam Idriss:
What gets you out of bed in the morning? What keeps you up at night?
Adrenaline and Stress. Also, the fear of wasting time. My biggest phobia is time spent wasted.
You feel best when wearing?
Designer that completely emulates your style?
L’Artisan Parfumeur, Passage D’enfer.
Theme song to your life?
The Show Must Go On by Queen.
Most interesting person you have shaken hands with?
You are having a dinner party, what would you cook? Who would you invite?
I would make lemon duck and would invite Aristotle, Jesus, Cleopatra and Louis XIV.
If you could have a drink with anyone in the world who would it be?
Bacchus, the God of wine.
Fall/Winter getaway destinations?
I don’t get away much. I follow my work and I go where my work takes me. I don’t have breaks. But, if I had the privilege to get away right now, I would go to Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay.
Best hotel you stayed in was?
Palace hotel, St Moritz, Switzerland. Room 538. New Years Eve, 1994.
Favorite nightlife hot-spot worldwide?
Some club in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I had so much fun that I completely forgot the name of the place.
Where in the world could you live for the rest of your life?
London, United Kingdom.
Favorite breakfast meal?
Coffee and Cigarettes.
Road trip or Jet-Set?
Both, it all depends on the company though.
What’s a typical day like for you? Walk me through it quickly.
I wake up at 6am. I have the screens of all the realize that life was way too short and decided that it was about time that I start pleasing myself, so I started designing what I like instead of what sells.
Apart from designing, you also sculpt. Do you think these two forms of art are interrelated or entirely different beasts?
They are very different. If I had to put them in animal terms, I would say that design is a dog.
You choose the dog that fits you, your life, your space, and your social surrounding, just like design. It’s also docile, in the same way design is.
Sculpting however, is a snake. When I sculpt, I mostly use wax and it burns, and it hurts, just like a snakebite. But I do it because I love the texture, and the snake is all about its texture.
Snakes are also venomous and frowned upon, just like art. workshops in front of me. I’m shocked, everybody’s late, but my watch is wrong, it’s actually 2 hours ahead. I fall back asleep, wake up at 7.30 am, shower and get ready by 8am. I start working at 8am up until 9pm. During my 11 hour working spree, I take a break to visit the gym 4 times a week. I also swim after I finish work, it calms me.
How did you first get into design?
I started painting at a very early age, and at 18, I moved to London to pursue my studies in Fine Arts at Central Saint Martins.
On the day of fashion induction, I created a dress made out of fire and suddenly found myself immersed in the world of fashion, and so decided to pursue a career in fashion design.
When it comes to design, how would you define your style?
You can never judge a designer by their style. The outfits never come first, my clients do. My clients are not supposed to fit into the dresses, the dresses are supposed to fit them. When designing however, I always think of the modern woman and not the diva.
I’m very much attracted to the modern woman. The woman that works and is tired and has issues and has wrinkles under her eyes.
The woman who has bad hair days and has chipped nails from relentlessly typing on her computer and texting. The woman who smells of perfume and cigarettes, or maybe of perfume and of Thai food from that restaurant she just had dinner in.
How do you view yourself? If you had to describe yourself in three words,what would you say?
I am persistent, ambitious and creative.
Was there a turning point in your life? How did it shape you as a designer?
At the ripe age of 28, I witnessed a shocking event that made me.
Outside of design and sculpting, what sorts of things influence your work?
Fireworks. I love fireworks. There is nothing more extravagant in the world than to spend money on decorating the sky for a fragment of a moment.
How would you define success? Do you think you’ve reached it?
Success is immortality. I obviously haven’t reached it yet.
What tips would you give anybody who wants to get into design?
Identify if you are passionate about fashion as a consumer or as a designer because they are two different beasts. Just because you like garments and clothing, doesn’t make you a designer.