This is the first collection I have designed since I’ve been based in London. It has been a daunting move, so I have found myself going to places that make me comfortable in the design process, namely exploring my roots and my connection to Lebanon and the people I have worked with there recently.
Many of the dresses are inspired by the traditional Lebanese abaya, and can be paired with Japanese-inspired obi belts to create definition around the waist. I wanted all the dresses to feel comfortable for all kinds of wearers, and not be restricted to one body type.
I designed with the intent of adapting to different body forms rather than designing something that forces people to adjust to it. This is essentially going back to the basics of design: think of the need before the aesthetic. I see myself as a designer first and foremost, rather than a fashion designer in an industry I have a lot of ethical problems with.
A portion of the fabric used was sourced from Lebanese designers I’m in a collective with, to minimize waste and help each other out. Creative Space Beirut, a free fashion school I work with in Beirut, had leftover Donna Karen Urban Zen fabric that had been donated to them, so I made a donation in exchange for the fabric to help support the space. I also used mesh pattern I got from Mira Hayek, a fellow Lebanese designer, that I loved from one of her collections last year. I feel a certain sisterhood in that collective, and that is the main theme running through this collection.
The entire collection was made in Lebanon at a small factory in Beit Chaar in the hills behind Beirut, with production overseen by Joe Fakhoury.
Photographer: Liz Seabrook
Models: Maëva Berthelot & Amira Prescott
Hair and make-up: Alice Oliver
Shot in Somerset House London.