"This is kind of a celebration," Rad Hourani told Rolling Stone Tuesday night after presenting another dynamic collection. "Fall 2012. I've been doing this five years now, and it keeps getting better." He offers Howard Roark, protagonist of Ayn Rand's Fountainhead, as a compelling literary twin: "we both embraced the idea of Nothing and made it something."


It indeed is something of a victory for a creator who famously "came from nothing and nowhere" to come this far, especially one whose rejection of conventional sartorial mores risked alienating the gatekeepers of New York fashion. But Hourani has a cult of admirers, usually exquisitely androgynous, severe and dressed in black – the cornerstones of the designer's sinuous aesthetic.


"I took my two favorite shades of green and put them in the collection, and used it on key garments. It's so hard to find a perfect puffy jacket, let alone one in green," Hourani says. He's also explicitly conscientious about creating highly convertible looks. Who knows what situation you may find yourself in? "My collections are always about transformation and about how you can evolve within the clothes. Everything I show is reversible," he explains, noting the straps, suspenders and zippers prominent in the show all have utility in mind. "The backpacks can be a handbag. There are belts everywhere, so you have options." Thrillingly, these are clothes encrypted with secrets and hidden invention.