Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Catching Up with Beirut Design Week 2014

Beirut Design Week (BDW) was more than awesome. What's more resourceful than mingling around a crowd with similar interests than yours, impressive taste, and a sense of fashion? I attended the open doors of Joe Fish, one of the official sponsors of BDW 2014, a marketing agency behind the branding of St Elmos and the new Deek Duke and Iwan Maktabi among their clients. I thought they had a valid reason to party it up—they exhibited some of their projects and had an illustrator of the creative team make caricatured portraits; there was also alcoholic drinks (I had to repeat to the generous waiter a billion times that I was driving), punch, popcorn, and sweets on the table, music played by a DJ, and the games. 

with Aline the community manager at Joefish

Who do you hate most at the Worldcup?

 I attended a talk at LAU about fashion journalism curated by Jason Steele, coordinator of the Fashion Program at LAU, and hosted by British journalist Hilary Alexander, no other than the fashion director of The Daily Telegraph. She began her speech by praising all the attendees whom were carrying a notebook to mark down her words and she carried on  by discussing the evolution of media throughout the last 4 decades, in which she worked in fashion. She was there at the first Galliano show for Dior, the first Alexander McQueen, as well as at the time when Supermodel Naomi Campbell fell of the platform heels on Vivienne Westwood's runway. Hilary also showed us the most amazing lookbooks she has worked on and told us stories behind each.

Hilary Alexander giving a talk about Fashion Journalism

One of my highlights of BDW was definitely the Artisan tour in Bourj Hammoud, in a poor and jerry-built neighborhood left for the Armenian refugees during the war. Since then, most of them have become artisans and craftsman. Angelique Sabounjian, designer of Tasche bags, is the curator of a new movement called “Artisan Initiative”, which she will soon turn into a NGO, aiming to reconnect the people to craftsmanship, revive it, and provide accurate database for their services. Along the 3 hours walk, we passed by a profitable shoe maker business, a diffident artist exhibiting his work of art in his father’s steel and repair workshop, a poised couture designer atelier, a blind man kneading straw into a stool, a chair, a bench and a table, and a man—if I have understood well—who put together necklaces and bangles before being implanted with diamonds.

Jason Steel, coordinator of the Fashion program at LAU, speaking up at the Artisan Tour; and to lef behind him, Angelique Sabounjian,curator of this event and soon to be founder of NGO Artisan Initiative.

Typical Armenian embroidery

I also enjoyed L’armoire de Lana’s event, Lana goes Pop, at Plastik pop-up store in Saifi village. I also met the lovely shoe designer Emma Boutros from Poise design who was showcasing some of her work; sadly, I didn't have any pictures of that on my camera.

With Shougin

BDW concluded on Sunday with an interior design, jewellery, and fashion concept stores selling their products at Station; I bought a beautiful leather Sacoche, blue mirror roundes sunglasses, and an eye-catching Aura Headpiece.



Maria said...

I loved this post!! All these pictures made me feel like I was there...thanks again :)

Elsa Abi-Khalil said...

Yeess greatt!!!