I paid a visit to Hisham Oumlil's studio last weekend and was pleasantly surprised by what I found. Oumlil, who had started his line in the fall of 2006, had been relatively under the radar since, with the business being mostly made-to-measure. Notable among his private clientele is the legendary Andre Balasz, owner of the Standard Hotels. The designer had been doing ready-to-wear for a few seasons now, and though the clothes didn't exactly make love to me through the lookbook photos, seeing and feeling how well-made the pieces were and hearing Hisham's passionate and inventive thoughts on menswear made the brisk Saturday showroom visit all worthwhile.
the most glorious swingy Oumlil zip-up leather blazer in burgundy-prune: a shade of maroon with touches of brown and an ever so subtle hint of purple
A signature of Oumlil's is this hand-pleated silk blend fabric, here used as a highlighting touch on the back panel of a jacket.
Oumlil is especially fascinated with the shape of the back of a man's jacket, and curve by which his jackets hug the back is just exceptional.
He uses the same pleats on a pair of powder blue shorts, perfect with a white button-down, or a diaphanous white t-shirt, espadrilles by Hermés---on the Riviera (!), a fruity drink, and a new blue Rolex Submariner won just last night at the Monte Carlo.
The pleats lend a vaguely military vibe to a jacket in bluish gray wool.
cap-toes in denim and leather
Oumlil is very passionate about the work he does; he does all the sketches and is very heavily involved in pattern making and finishing. Here the designer explains the many layers of linen canvas that go inside a jacket, and how these can be lessened or added to according to the climate in the area where the client intends to wear the jacket.
doodles: ideas for collars, gloves, jackets, and even womenswear
Oumlil's official site