In photos: Lebanese fashion star Hussein Bazaza unveils new line

The Lebanese designer is fresh off the back of a successful runway show at Fashion Forward Dubai

Saffiya Ansari

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When there is no other word for a dress but beautiful, it must have been created by rising Lebanese talent Hussein Bazaza who has dressed the who’s who of Arab glitterati and members of the Emirati and Qatari royal families.

The Lebanese designer is fresh off the back of a successful runway show at Fashion Forward Dubai, a four-day event highlighting the regional fashion industry.

As fashion-lovers sat down to gaze upon Bazaza’s whimsical designs and playful creations on Saturday night, Al Arabiya English spoke exclusively to the Elie Saab-mentored designer in the run-up to the show.

Q: How does it feel to show your work at Fashion Forward - is it important for you to show your work in the Middle East?

A: It is actually not the first time we have showcased in Fashion Forward and every time we do it is fortunately a success. Of course, it is important to show my work in the Middle East as the fashion scene in the region is booming and most of my clients are Middle Eastern.

Q: What was the inspiration behind your latest collection?

A: Our latest collection is our FW17 haute couture “Sophia the Goddess” collection. The story of Sophia The Alchemist continues as she goes through the journey of discovering the elixir of life and finding eternity.

My inspiration initially came from the times when alchemists sought the means of formulating the elixir of life to discover immortality and a universal cure for disease.

The story begins with Sophia The Alchemist. Back in the Medieval Ages she found the desirable formula for the elixir of life and kept it as her secret to this day.

Sophia became immortal and lived through several ages, hiding both her everlasting youth and the secret to her formula. The elixir of life was hidden in a red apple she kept with her, which she truly believed was the source of her happiness and satisfaction. By faithfully believing in something and feeling fulfilled inside, anything can be possible – youth, happiness and eternity.

Pieces of Fall Winter 2017 Haute Couture collection represent the journey of Sophia The Alchemist becoming a Goddess, which reflects in the selection of handmade fabrics, silhouettes and intricate details.

The key motifs of the collection come from alchemists’ archives of studies, geometric symbols, drawings and equations.

The signature techniques of lace collage are complimented by mix of embroideries, embellishments and story-telling prints to create a painting-on-the-dress effect.

Embroidered symbols, stars, butterflies, unicorns and natural elements.

The colors used in the collection are black, grey, white, gold and red while fabrics used in the collection are mostly handmade, such as raffia and delicate lace.

Q: When and how were you first inspired to pursue a career in fashion design?

A: At a very young age, I used to sketch a lot. My mother saw potential and believed I was talented in the artistic field, thus, she was actually the one who encouraged me to pursue fashion design as a career and got me to enroll in ESMOD, Beirut.

Q: How would you describe your experience at Elie Saab and what lessons have stayed with you?

A: To have had the opportunity to work at Elie Saab is something I will forever be grateful for. It was a great experience and I learned so much especially the importance of understanding the woman’s silhouette.

Q: Which celebrity would you most like to dress and why?

A: Cate Blanchett for her effortless elegance and utmost gracefulness.

Q: What, in your opinion, is the most important thing about being a fashion designer - talent or training?

A: One is not more important than the other. In my opinion, both are greatly significant. A creative needs talent first and foremost as a basic, and with training and practice throughout the years, it will undoubtedly just keep ameliorating.