Haute Couture Is Alive and Well in Lebanon
Elegant, draping gowns; delicate, sheer fabrics; slits that show a daring amount of leg; and dresses embroidered with gold and silver, all worn by A-list celebrities, hail from this small country perched on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean. Over the past decade or more, several top Lebanese designers have made quite the splash in the fashion world, with the likes of Catherine-Zeta Jones, Elizabeth Hurley, Kate Beckinsale and Eva Longoria seeking out their creations.
“Elegant, draping gowns; delicate, sheer fabrics; slits that show a daring amount of leg; and dresses embroidered with gold and silver.”
“The most famous is certainly Elie Saab, who designed the famous dress Halle Barry wore for the 2002 Academy Awards.”
The most famous is certainly Elie Saab, who designed the famous dress Halle Berry wore for the 2002 Academy Awards. Berry won the Oscar for Best Actress that year and gave her acceptance speech in a stunning sheer maroon dress with strategically-placed green and brown leafy embellishments. He has also dressed Scarlett Johannson and Emily Blunt for their own special outings.
Zuhair Marad, another Lebanese designer, opened his first atelier in Beirut in 1995, and made his first big splash in the fashion world just four years later when his designs were seen on catwalks in Rome. His creations have graced the red carpet on such A-list celebrities as Beyoncé and Eva Longoria. Marad’s unique style – featuring luscious fabrics and classic cuts – seamlessly melds Golden-Age Hollywood glamour with contemporary chic.
Other top designers include Rami Kadi – a young Lebanese designer – Krikor Jabotian, Abed Mahfouz, and Georges Chakra. You can find many boutiques in Beirut, and it doesn’t take long to realize that the unique and ultra-fashionable designs from these creative and talented artists are making the city more than just a speck on a map when it comes to high fashion.