Savvy street style abounds as weather cools

BEIRUT: With autumn around the corner, on the streets of Beirut women are holding on to summer’s brights for as long as possible. Walking in Hamra, Tania Dalal describes her style as “comfortable and colorful.”

“I wear lots of colors, and also I choose flattering clothes. I know how to hide my flaws.

“But most important to me is to be comfortable,” she says.

The jeans and T-shirt combo is her typical workwear at the graphic design company Inkblot, which she runs.

Her Cartier bangle is her favorite piece of clothing of the outfit, and she thinks it typifies her style. Her T-shirt and jeans are from Sandro, and her sunglasses from Jigsaw.

Spending half her time in London, the British capital is Dalal’s favorite shopping location, where she picks from a balance of High Street stores, designer brands and vintage shops.

In Lebanon she likes designer Sandra Mansour and Smarties, which sells bags and clutches.

Elsy Corban, 23, describes her style as casual, although her favorite designer is Lebanese Elie Saab, famed for his elegant and glamorous evening gowns.

Her rainbow sandals are her favorite item of clothing, but she can’t remember exactly where she bought them, just that it was from a little shop in her village of Dour al-Shuwayr.

Corban, who works as a graphic designer at the American University of Beirut, describes her style as “typically Lebanese,” and likes to shop at H&M and Bershka.

Ghofran Akil, 20, doesn’t think there is such a thing as “Lebanese style.” She changes the colors she wears depending on the season, and during the summer wears bright fresh colors, such as the turquoise of her headscarf, her favorite item of clothing at the moment.

Come autumn, she will opt for more “gloomy and dark colors.”

Akil, who studies graphic design, fine art and media at AUB, likes to shop at ABC Ashrafieh and City Mall. Her jeans are from Pieces.

In Downtown Beirut, Cynthia Nassar, 23, chooses her black Chanel handbag as her favorite item of clothing, and one that defines her style.

Herself a fashion design and pattern-making student at Esmod fashion school, Nassar describes her style as classic and quite traditional, opting for clean lines and neutral colors rather than outlandish patterns and shapes.

Her sunglasses are also Chanel, while her dress is from Mango and her shoes are from Aldo. “I think this is classic Lebanese style, obviously it depends on where you are, but a lot of people like glamor and shiny things and are a bit over the top.”

But Nassar says she shops everywhere and will pick up pieces she likes, whether from designer stores or from little local shops.

Also in Downtown, Lama Chamsedine, 22, says her style is “simple and full of natural colors.”

“I don’t like extremes, and I pick pieces very carefully.”

Her leopard skin pants from Zara are her favorite item of clothing today, as she is very into prints at the moment.

Chamsedine’s polo shirt is from Burberry and her bag is by Versace. She picked up her many delicate gold bracelets from all over the place.

Reem Mansour, 15, shopping at ABC Ashrafieh, describes her style as unique. Her outfit is from Pull and Bear and Bershka, and her boots are from Timberland. The manicure she did herself. “I just wear whatever I want to wear.” But she also looks to a certain American pop star for style inspiration.

“I get inspiration from Katy Perry and search online for images of clothes that I like and to see what other people are wearing.”

She doesn’t dress like her friends, Mansour says, but shares style and a wardrobe with her cousin. “We share everything.”

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on September 25, 2012, on page 2.




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