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Chocolate dresses made by Lebanese designers and renowned pastry chefs gathered chocolate lovers and fashion enthusiasts alike Thursday for the annual Salon Du Chocolat expo and fashion show. Taking place concurrently at the Beirut International Exhibition and Leisure center from Nov. 16-18, the Beirut Cooking Festival and the Salon du Chocolat expect 15,000 visitors this year.The theme was 'wonderland,' so I wanted to use bright colors," designer Hala Baydoun told The Daily Star.The medium of chocolate brought about several challenges for designers otherwise accustomed to working with pliable fabrics and textiles for their dresses. The white dress, adorned with red mistletoe, was embellished with 20,000 handmade chocolate leaves.With all that work at risk of perishing, both the chef and designer had to make sure the dress could withstand the conditions of the show.For designer Rayia Lahoud, who drew her inspiration from deer to create a queen of nature, the weight of the material made it vital to use a metal petticoat underneath the dress to support both weight and volume.For a beginner chocolate designer, dealing with delicate pieces is extra challenging.In addition to the fashion show, more than 50 stands displayed samples of everything chocolate: fountains, sculptures, cakes, cookies, miniature houses and even Christmas decorations.
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