I met Bilal at Antoine library in downtown. I had picked many cooking, fashion, and business books and I sat on the couch in that little corner space in much excitement, eager to dig into what I’ve found. At some moment when I looked up, I realized there was also someone else facing me in that seating area. He was wearing jeans, a sweater, and a cap front-back. A regular guy, you would think, and that’s what I actually thought the first few seconds until I saw what he was reading in between his hands.
He was flipping the pages of Vogue magazine! I have never seen a guy reading Vogue Magazine before then! He was very comfortably flipping the pages of the magazine as if it was something he had done many times before. So I guessed he wasn’t looking into Vogue by uncommon curiosity. Of course, I approached him and I asked “Are you a designer?” and he said yes! Why else would he look at the magazine? We chatted for a while and I learnt more about his work. Bilal actually shows his collections during Paris Haute Couture designer week and he works between Paris and Lebanon where his atelier is located.
Last week, Bilal invited me for the store opening of his new concept “Couture-a-porter” brand in Zalka. The concept defines ready-to-wear clothes but perfectly tailored to your size. On that occasion, I met his beautiful wife Lubna, a tall skinny and refined young woman, the “Lilly” of the brand.
Together they have created a collection that really exceeded any expectations I have set in mind. When I walked in the store, I fell in love with the clothes that were so elegant yet sexy at the same time. You could feel there was a feminine touch for the elegance and girl flair of the collection but at the same time the pieces all looked fierce and catching men’s attention. The collection included a range of clothes including crop top and high-waist skirt ensembles, short dresses, jackets, and long evening dresses. The prices start at around $600 and reach the $2,000 s, yet they are justified with the beautiful details and execution as well as the opulent choice of textile. Each item was tailored to embrace the curves of the woman and make her stand out. The collection was very successful in my opinion and I wish Bilal and Lubna the best of luck for the continuation! Hopefully, I will be wearing their eveningwear collection on my next occasion!