Meet the Designers representing Lebanon in Blueprint Beirut at the International Fashion Showcase 2016

29 January '16

Blueprint Beirut: Meet the Lebanese Designers participating at the International Fashion Showcase 2016! 

#Blueprint Beirut opens as part of #IFS2016 at Somerset House  from 19 – 23 February 2016.

The Arab British Centre in partnership with Starch Foundation is pleased to present ‘Blueprint Beirut’ as part of Fashion Utopias, the British Council and British Fashion Council’s International Fashion Showcase 2016 in association with London Fashion Week.

Curated by Tala Hajjar, Starch Co-Founder and Fashion Entrepreneur, and designed by Starch Architect Elie Metni, the exhibition will unveil new pieces by Margarita Abi-Hanna, Joe Arida, Mira Hayek, Timi Hayek, Rayya Morcos, Nour Najem, Sevag Dilsizian and Bashar Assaf. The fashion items will be displayed inside Metni’s interpretation of a deconstructed architectural blueprint of a traditional Lebanese home. By re-imagining a familiar place where rituals of the past inspire present-day life, the exhibition reflects Lebanese fashion’s journey to a future still grounded in Mediterranean heritage.

You can find more information about IFS 2016 here

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 launched her own line of leather accessories and jewellery prior to graduating with a master’s degree in accessories design from Domus Academy in Milan. Her brand #Margherita strives to create unique, hand crafted designs by Lebanese artisans. Her work always aims to transcend the decorative and embody qualities that spark emotional and symbolic significance to the wearer.

SEVAG DILSIZIAN uses Jewellery to hammer out his emotions in precious metal!  Over the years his creativity has flourished while his materials have become more restrictive…gold and diamonds are a pricey medium to experiment with! Three Years ago Dilsizian formed DASafter working for international jewellery labels for many years.

TIMI HAYEK studied Fashion Print at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design in London (2007-2012). Timi won the Liberty Art Fabrics Award in 2010, and has worked for Marc Jacobs in Louis Vuitton and Jean-Charles de Castelbajac in Paris. Other placements include Alexander McQueen and Mary Katrantzou in London). With the support of the Starch Foundation she launched her eponymous fashion label ‘Timi Hayek’ and in 2015 she opened her first boutiquein Monot Street, Beirut.

RAYYA MORCOS is a Beirut-based fashion designer who started her fashion apprenticeship at Maison Rabih Kayrouz. Her interest in shapes and forms began at an early age as her mother, who was an avid art collector and fashion fan, instilled her taste for art and creativity into her. Rayya initially majored in interior design but her relentless passion drove her to explore new territories. After obtaining a degree in Fashion Design from Esmod, she joined Maison Rabih Kayrouz where she was head of design from 2006 to 2011. In 2009, she founded her own label: Bird on a Wire.

JOE ARIDA is a multi-disciplinary designer. Raised in Beirut he worked in fashion, advertising, art direction and set design. Growing frustrated with the constant disposal of used sets, Joe began crafting durable decorative items, furniture and installations blending raw and noble materials. His brand LA TERRE EST FOLLE founded in 2014 produces limited edition furniture pieces and a clothing line crafted in BEIRUT.

MIRA HAYEK is a Beirut based, contemporary designer. Mira is obsessed with geometric shapes and motifs which she uses as a basis for her patterns and as details on her garments. Mira studied Graphic Design at the Lebanese American University in Beirut. Her formal industry training began when she moved to Milan, where she studied Fashion Design at Istituto Marangoni. She then pursued her masters in Fashion and Textile Design at Istituo Europeo di Design. After interning at the ateliers of Elie Saab in Beirut and Erdem in London, she was selected by the STARCH Foundation in Beirut to launch her first ready to wear collection in 2011.

BASHAR ASSAF’s garments accentuate the female body with sophisticated yet demure silhouettes, solid colours and clean cuts. Bashar Assaf was born in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and moved to Lebanon to join ESMOD Beirut. In December 2012, he was chosen as one of the Starch Foundation’s designers where he produced three collections, “Metamorphism”, “Open Heart” and “Hallucinations”. The latter two were showcased at Fashion Forward in Dubai. He was also nominated by Elle Style Awards for “Best Upcoming Fashion Designer in the Middle East” that year. Since 2014 Bashar has successfully launched two collections which were showcased at Fashion Forward in Dubai.

NOUR NAJEM was born and raised in Beirut and graduated in fashion design from ESMOD Beirut in 2012. She launched her eponymous fashion label in the spring of 2013. Nour addresses the modern and independent woman through fluid lines, luscious fabrics, and intricate details. She combines strict geometry and architecture all the while being anchored in her oriental heritage. She is inspired by a wide range of traditional artistry; artisanal crafts and the know-how that she applies to her designs. In December 2014, Nour was selected by the STARCH foundation to showcase and highlight her talent.

Meet the Architect behind Blueprint Beirut at IFS 2016

ELIE METNI studied Architecture at the Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts (ALBA) where he is also a part time instructor. In 2012, he joined the Herzog and de Meuron architecture firm in Switzerland for a year-long internship, where he participated in the design process of various projects. Elie shares a particular interest for product design. He constantly explores the projects’ conceptualization by experimenting with materials and ergonomics. He believes that a project doesn’t end at the completion of its construction but continues as the user starts interacting with the product. He designed several projects in Lebanon and abroad. Orient Express, a café bar in Beirut that he co-designed, has been opened to the public since 2014. Lately he was selected by Starch Foundation to design the 2015-2016 boutique.

Meet the Curator of Blueprint Beirut at IFS 2016

TALA HAJJAR completed her Fashion Design and Marketing studies between London, Paris and Beirut. She worked as PR and Marketing Manager in various fashion and jewellery houses before founding Starch Foundation with fashion designer Rabih Kayrouz in 2008. In 2011, Tala was awarded ‘Young Creative Entrepreneur’ by the British Council.

The STARCH Foundation is a non-profit organisation that helps launch Lebanese emerging designers through an annual program and a rotation of debut collections. Designers are guided through the process of developing, manufacturing and promoting their collections, and have access to capacity building workshops and collaborations. Their work is showcased in the Starch Boutique located in Saifi Village, Beirut.