BEIRUT: Pastel gowns and lace-embellished crepe designs line the windows of Dina Jsr’s new boutique. As her aides artfully arranged the skirts and trains of dresses hanging in the showroom for Friday’s grand opening, Jsr walked The Daily Star through the virgin space, expounding upon the spring-summer collection on display.
If the clean, linear boutique-cum-workshop reflects Jsr’s oft-remarked architectural background, her latest collection does not. While Jsr is known for her highly structured eveningwear, most of the dresses in the latest collection suggest springtime calm, an airy contentment.
The change in mood and style, Jsr said, reflects her own mindset as she was designing the collection.
“I was planning my wedding,” she explained. Initially digging into her typical sources of inspiration, largely architectural, she felt overwhelmed. “I found myself not managing, so I said if I want to do a nice collection, just let it be and design what women would want to wear to a wedding.”
The full-length blue, green and pink gowns, reflected in the polished mirrors of the new boutique, were inspired by a barefoot, beachside ceremony she and her husband held on the Greek island of Mykonos. More structured dresses, replete with complex folds and tailored waists, hearken to the more formal nuptials the couple also threw in Lebanon last year.
“I was so caught up with the wedding, in lala land,” the blushing bride admitted as she walked down the loftlike stairs of her new space.
Already hard at work on future collections, Jsr says her most recent designs revert back to her characteristically structured style. But designing dresses with wedding bells on the mind allowed Jsr find new depths to her creativity.
“This collection is different,” she said with a smile.
But even when her designs emerge from the creative spring of marital bliss, Jsr said she was often insecure about her work.
“I never believe in myself,” she admitted. “After every collection you go back to zero.”
As guests arrived for the opening, Dina’s keen eye for spatial flow was highlighted anew. Mingling in a small courtyard facing the shop, friends, family and sartorial savants scrutinized the festive collection through the bright display windows.
Others mingled inside, enjoying the luxurious simplicity of the mirrored interior.
Now deeply entrenched in her new space, Jsr will continue exploring new facets of her creativity. While large display cases in the new boutique contain only metallic belts to accompany her dresses, the designer said she hoped to expand her line to include jewelry.
“But I’m not rushing it,” she said.
For now, Jsr is relishing her recent marriage and new boutique, enjoying the springtime calm.