capes make the man

'capes make the man' at risd grad show . 2018

'capes make the man' at risd grad show . 2018

'warrior' cape (detail) . 2018

'dancer' cape (detail) . 2018

'lover' cape (detail) . 2018

'capes make the man' at risd textiles show, nyc . 2018

'king' cape . 2018

'magician' cape (detail) . 2018

'warrior, dancer, lover' capes (detail) . 2018

'lover' cape . 2018

i write this post as an mfa graduate – imma master y'all! i did it, i successfully graduated from the rhode island school of design with a masters of fine arts in textiles. it's been a crazy two years, with many ups and downs, but it sure was a blast. i'm truly grateful for it all. i can't believe it's over – it feels like only yesterday where i was back home in dubai announcing my move to providence to pursue an mfa. now it's over, and i'm ready to move back home to face what comes next.
i share with you my final thesis project titled 'capes make the man'. the project is definitely an outcome of self discovery and growth over the last two years whilst being away from home and family. it truly is a stepping stone for me, and i think the work i produce from now on will not be the same. i most certainly will continue to work within design and illustration, but i think i've found my calling – i enjoy making garments that embody narratives which transform the wearer. i'm not sure yet how i'll be able to include this new interest in my current studio practise once back in dubai, but i'm committed to making it work. i'm very proud of my thesis project, and i hope all of you out there enjoy it too. below is the abstract from my thesis book which briefly explains what my project is about:

‘capes make the man’ is a project that provided me with the opportunity to grow as a designer and an artist. over the last two years at risd, i’ve frequently asked myself questions about my place and role as a man in the united arab emirates, and what awaits when i move back after graduating. using personal narratives and cultural symbols from home, i bring to life the archetypes i carry as a mature masculine – my king, warrior, magician, lover and dancer. the end result is a series of bold, wearable capes, resembling stage costumes worn by pop stars on concert tours. through a combination of screen printing, dyeing and embroidery techniques, the capes visually contextualise these archetypes, what they personally mean to me and the characters i embody when caped.

the photos above do not do justice, but i hope they give a sense of the overall look and feel of the collection. once back home, i do intend on taking proper documentation of the capes, so stay tuned for future posts which should have better photos, as well as a few more details on what informs the narratives behind each cape. until then, i end with a photo of myself in an unflattering graduation robe after the graduation ceremony.

at risd commencement, 2 june . 2018 (photo by hind mezaina)