We Are the Luxury: Lebanese Designers, Who Won our Hearts
Couture of Middle Eastern designers has long proved itself to be the embodiment of the highest sewing skills. Handmade embroidered dresses, from which it is impossible to force the eyes, show that today Lebanese designers deal with luxury and exquisite beauty more than anyone else.
On one of the world's fashion shows the designer was noticed by Halle Berry’s stylist, who then picked up his burgundy dress with transparent top for the actress’s appearance on the red carpet of the Oscars. Halle looked gorgeous in this dress: it set off her dark skin and drew everyone's attention to the floral appliqué on the chest. This outfit was a ticket for Saab to the world of Hollywood elite. Following Holly, Latin stars started wearing the brand: Salma Hayek, Penelope Cruz, Eva Longoria, Tyra Banks, and Beyonce. Beyonce wears it almost at every major ceremony, attracting even more attention to Saab’s creations.
Dresses of the Lebanese designer seem like they come from the fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen. They instantly turn ordinary girls into modern princesses. However, there is no any magic in Saab's art: all of his collections, as well as the status of the main adept of the fashion world, is the result of long and painstaking work.
As for wedding fashion collections, which Elie Saab has started relatively recently, he is a direct competitor of his compatriot - Reem Acra. She also began her career in Beirut, where clothing manufacturing is mainly male spot. Despite this, Reem could draw attention to her "needle" and enter the faculty of design. Upon graduation the girl moved to the West, where she studied at the ESMOD in France, and then at the American Institute of fashion technology.
In the process of wedding dresses creation she traditionally uses Swiss fabric, small precious beads, gold thread, and find the ideas in a variety of sources of inspiration - from "The Arabian Nights" fairy tale to the fashion of "roaring 20's". Each collection is hand-sewn, which makes it Haute Couture, although Reem is not couturier in the ordinary way.
Her dresses, showing interlacing of oriental luxury and New York’s functionality, can often be seen on Jessica Alba, Olivia Wilde, Leslie Mann, Selena Gomez, Sookie Waterhouse and Jenna Dewan-Tatum. These women have been wearing Reem Acra over the past few years, ensuring not only positive feedback of fashion critics for themselves, but also the feel of confidence on the red carpet. Proof of this is the example of Kristen Stewart, whose elegant dress at the Oscars in 2013 allowed her to move on crutches.
The story of Zuhair Murad’s brand is similar to all the above. Like his colleagues, he immigrated to Paris, where he studied art design, during the Civil War, and then opened a fashion studio in Lebanon. However, unlike other Arab fashion designers, who aim for the concept of "girlish tenderness + aristocracy", Murad praises adult sensuality, presenting his countless fans in all their beauty.
The main clients of the designer are such top models as Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio, Izabel Goulart, Candice Swanepoel and Chanel Iman. They choose the rich dresses embroidered with beads virtually for every public appearance, thereby put their names on the "best-dressed" lists.
Not less famous stars are also mad of the talent of Zuhair Murad: Sarah Jessica Parker, Chrissy Teigen, Mila Kunis, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift and Sofia Vergara, who entrusted creation of her wedding dress to the designer. Jennifer Lopez is an unofficial ambassador of the Lebanese brand: she reserves half of the collections immediately after the show and appears almost at any ceremony only in Zuhair Murad dresses.
The brand, which describes its aesthetic as a combination of antiquity and modernity, can be attributed to the segment of pure couture. Despite the constant presentation of seasonal and even pre-seasonal collections, it relies on alta moda, which fully reflects the ideas and mastery of the eastern fashion designer. "Couture - is the niche where I can give rein to my imagination and express myself as an artist," – said Murad in one of his interviews.