Creative Space Beirut: A feast for the eyes of distinctive fashion

“Over the years we were able to build a community of designers, photographers and teachers."
by Rana Tabara and Chiri Choukeir

11 December 2018 | 11:14

Source: by Annahar

Dozens of models strutted the catwalk in a show of singular fashions (Annahar)

BEIRUT: Bold colors, fierce looks, and uniqueness that’s how the runway of Dekweneh warehouse was illuminated as the innovative designs of Creative Space Beirut (CSB) were displayed by topnotch models.

Over the weekend, the free fashion school, Creative Space Beirut, hosted its annual fashion show celebrating the works of their graduates and students.

Taking place at Yared Warehouse, attendees gathered at a reception before the main fashion runway took place. More than 21 sections under the label “top selection from CSB students’ designs” were on display and up for sale. Particularly showcased this year were the creative works of signature graduates designers Roni Helou, Heba Nahle, Aline Seukunian, and more.

“My collection was inspired by uniqueness,” Helou, a CSB graduate told Annahar. “You can see the different layers, depths, textures in one piece, from blazers and coats to sweaters, I overlapped everything to show character and difference.”

Sequence, palette, and leather gazing were then transported from the reception area to the fashion runway. Before the models took the catwalk, Sarah Hermez, the school founder spoke with the audience.

“Eight years ago I was sitting in New York with my professor Caroline Simonelli, telling her about all the things I wanted to do and she looked at me saying ‘why don’t you start a fashion school?’ from that moment I knew what I’m going to spend my life doing,” said Hermez. “A few months later we launched our project in a basement, after that, we moved into the first floor of a building in Mar Mikhael and today we are in Beirut Souks, where our whole concept lives.”

Talking about how the free initiative school came to be, Hermez continued with an effusive smile: “Over the years we were able to build a community of designers, photographers and teachers and in the past three years we were able to graduate our alumni who also come back to collaborate with us.”

Hermez believes in free education because according to her everyone has the right to reach their potential, “there is so much talent in this country and so many people who deserve to pursue their dreams.” The school relies on a network of fundraising.

As the founder left the catwalk and the lights faded out, the audience members placed their fists underneath their chins exhibiting the “ready to judge the designs” look on their face.

Turtleneck dresses, double collar crepe shirts, and hand painted cloth by second-year student, Amir Al Kasm, provoked many Ohs and Ahs on the audience’s side of the hall. Stuffed tulles, drop-waist dresses, and wool tea coats by second-year student, Najah Raya, left the audience wanting more, whereas the nylon jackets, weaved ponchos, and sequin corset by also second-year student, Ahmad Abdullatif added color and life to the warehouse.

“I couldn’t pick a favorite, they all wowed me,” expressed Jad Khater, a fashion enthusiast.

After the students' works, Eman Bou Omar, CSB alumni, introduced her line that consisted of oversized wear, pleather, and chiffon suit jackets and nylon skorts.

“Bou Omar set the fashion bar so high, that people started questioning their own haute couture outfits,” said Tamara Khatib, Lebanese stylist.

Fitted lace dresses, structured Grosgain dresses, and stiffened Chiffon blazers, the detailed execution and metallic color usage of Ibrahim Fakhereldeen had the attendees breathless as his designs hit the runway.

Ibrahim Fakhereldeen graduated this year from CSB, but his innovative technique and bold designs had everyone talking about him.

“He is so creative and elegant,” said Kenny Rahal, volunteer model for Ibrahim Fakhereldeen. “I wish I could afford his designs, you can clearly see that he has a vision in his creations and he knows how to showcase this elegance in each piece.”

After the show ended, people rushed to buy the couture pieces that left the catwalk. “All profits made at the fashion show go to fund the free fashion school,” said Leen Attar, CSB alumni.

CSB students and alumni also stood out in their “Education is a Right” slogan t-shirts which were also up for sale as part of a campaign to raise funds and awareness for subsidized education.


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