I’ve known Ramdane Touhami for many years. 18 to be exact. He reminds me of a wicked and sometimes unmerciful creature with inexplicable energy. Always interesting, fiercely intelligent, scandalous (his stories are more eventful than a Stieg Larsson book minus the murders and violence), controversial and highly entertaining, with a finely tuned sense of style, he was quick to impose his ideas from the South of France to Paris and now to an international public. His career has involved a skatewear brand, a concept store, the creative direction of Liberty’s menswear department, the relaunch of Cire Trudon, a restaurant in Tangiers called L’Africain, a shoe line, and two clothing lines: R.T and Resistance. A brilliant mash-up of ventures which he compellingly uses to capture our curiosity, communicate the extraordinarily vibrant visual and philosophical theories that inhabit his brain and influence us.
He recently turned his attention to filmmaking and this morning revealed a short film to mark the opening of his first New York store. It moves to the rhythm of a thriller/horror film but is of a completely different nature. And at this point I’ll admit that it’s hard to accurately pinpoint its genre. With $500 he orchestrated this fictional little journey into the world of several New York kids (including Lola Schnabel, Melo-X and Ramdane himself which may come across as a somewhat narcissistic acting debut but is more about his sense of humour). It starts with a rather goofy plot which leaves you wondering where it is heading, several characters talking about Africa in a bizarre image/dialogue juxtaposition, drugs, Africa orientated hallucinations and mysterious malign energies. In the closing minutes the tension magically escalates and pushes the drama even further. But what this film does best of all is bring on stage the beautiful clothes he designed and will sell exclusively in his New York store. All the ritual of theatre, movement, voices and sounds serve one fundamental purpose: to showcase his collection.The pieces are incredible and of exceptional quality. The pyjama shirt with its wild animal print is just delicious and immediately caught my eye. I will post a picture of it on the blog soon!
But see for yourself.
Watch the film here or head to 64 Kenmare Street.
Film courtesy of Ramdane Touhami