Monday, March 29, 2010

NY Designer Profile: LORIS DIRAN

A designer’s creations should always tell a story, but it's not very often that you get to hear that story directly from the designer’s mouth. When assigned to meet an up-and-coming designer and write a profile on his work, I leaped at the opportunity to try on clothes that had not yet been walked down the runway and pick the designer’s brain to understand one’s creative process. The last thing I thought I would ever get out of an interview was a history lesson. Yet, while the clothes were fabulous and the creative process only further depicted the artistry, it was the education that was provided, not only about the designer, but about the city I so love, that made me realize that after 2 hours, I didn’t want to leave.

Loris Diran lives and works by a simple motto: “be true to yourself, and true to your line.” After immigrating to America in his early youth and growing up on the Upper West Side of New York City, Diran’s artistic experience came in many forms. Through his education at New York’s School of Performing Arts, combined with his work with Versace, Claude Montana and Chanel, as well as the development of his own label, Diran has come to understand and embrace a lifestyle of glamour and luxury that is subtle, yet just as rich as a gaudy diamond ring.

Diran truly designs for the people. One of the few designers to actually be in his showroom on the weekends, he actually listens to what a costumer has to say, and acknowledges and adapts to their needs. Diran is not only knowledgeable about the progress of design and style, he is also a wealth of information on the history of New York City, the building in which his boutique sits, and the neighborhood in which is business is continuing to grow.

Tucked away near the corner of 1st Street and Bowery, Loris Diran’s boutique tells his own unique story. Walking through the front door is like walking out of the city and right into the wood. The space, not only beautifully displays his garments, but also instantly brings you to a state of peaceful relaxation. “Shopping should be like aromatherapy,” says Diran. Indeed, in his boutique, it is. Finding inspiration in the natural elements, Diran has created a space where the clothes are at one with the environment that inspired them. The clothing racks are shaped like tree branches and the room is warmed by accents of deep wood, soft colors and beautiful natural accessories. Walking past rows of exquisitely tailored pieces – suits, cocktail dresses, dress shirts, slacks and cashmere galore – the buyer cannot help but touch, and once you do, you’re sold.

While I could write a whole other essay on my favorite Diran pieces, it's necessary to elaborate on two of what I would say are essentials. First is the cashmere suit jacket. This garment is so comfortable I want to go to work in it, go to drinks in it, and go to bed in it. While one might think cashmere would not provide the structure needed to command proper attention, or be appropriate for the office, Diran will show you otherwise. As he said to me, “I could create the suit for the every man, but I’m not Hugo Boss.”

The second garment, which is completely stunning on the body, is the corset dress. Like most of Diran’s garments, this dress seems as if it came from the ground to envelop the body, accentuating the best parts of a woman, and providing her security throughout the rest.

Ladies and gentleman, heed my advice – if you every pay Mr. Diran a visit, be careful what you try on, because you will be much more willing to put the clothes on than you will be to take them off. — SEAN KIELY

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