BEIRUT: Dark glamour and themes from nature hang in the ateliers of local ready-to-wear designers, as they prepare to put the collections out for the upcoming fall-winter season. Without a definitive fashion week of their own, Lebanese designers tend to release their collections sporadically from March – in step with international designers – right up until the first chill of November. So far, designers who have released collections of casual winter wear have focused on natural themes like autumn leaves and insects, as well as darker femme fatal inspirations.
Milia Maroun of Milia M, whose boutique is in Saifi Village, focused this season on the leaf, which she reinterpreted in both literal graphics of maple and palm leaves splashed across black silk and textured leaf veins sewn into the fabric of thick sweaters. Maroun is now in Paris preparing to show her spring-summer collection.
For winter, she brightened a triad of long, open-front coats with enlarged, partially pixelated leaf graphics printed on the back. The theme aimed at highlighting the effects of the modern world on nature, as well as the way technology changes natural beauty.
The best look from Maroun’s collection was the most abstract interpretation of her theme: an oversized, turtleneck sweater dress with leaf-inspired texture winding down the neck and shoulders.
Bugs inspired Lara Khoury’s winter collection titled “Insectified.” The collection is heavy on thick, textured sweaters, structured jackets and vests, and volume, something that finds its way into most of Khoury’s work.
Khoury, whose private showroom is in Gemmayzeh, told The Daily Star that her inspiration was admittedly dark. She started working on the collection while reading Franz Kafka’s novella “The Metamorphosis,” in which the protagonist is transformed into a cockroach.
As part of the collection, Khoury collaborated with a local jewelry designer and an artist to supplement the theme with bug-inspired necklaces and graphic T-shirts.
Ronald by Ronald Abdala presented collection full of iridescent patent leathers as part of his femme fatal theme entitled “Armored.”
Leather skirts, industrial zippers and rigged, asymmetrical structure – something that often characterizes Abdala’s ready-to-wear collections – all featured heavily and brought to mind futuristic uniforms for an all-women crime-fighting force. Audience members at Beirut’s Social Media Awards last spring got a preview of Abdala’s creations when fashion blogger Deema Saidi won “Best Fashion Blog” and paired a long-sleeve, zipper-back top with a black maxiskirt and purple lipstick.
In contrast, Abdala also offered some elegant winter whites in loose silks with structured shoulders.
Mansour, also preparing a spring-summer show in Paris this week, focused on mixing textures in her fall-winter collection, combining things like reptile skins, abstract prints, brocades and laces.
Taking a popular summer look into winter, Mansour paired high-waisted alligator-skin pants with a silk white crop top decorated in gold embroidery. Mansour made more dramatic uses of that black alligator skin, with a long, mullet-cut asymmetrical skirt and a thick-pocketed gilet.