Monday 6 February 2012

Haute Couture | Feminity and Allure by BASIL SODA


BASIL SODA Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2012

"If I wasn't a fashion designer, I would've been an architect, for sure", said Basil Soda.

Along with Paris, London and New York, Beirut can bes considered a haute couture capital, where many young talents launch their careers. For decades, Beirut has been considered the fashion capital of the Middle East and home to prominent and talented fashion designers such as Elie Saab, Georges Chakra, Zuhair Mirad, Basil Soda, Georges Hobeika, Tiny Ward, Reem Acra, Ella Zahlan, and others. Over the last decade, these Lebanese designers have gained much acclaim for their sexy, glamorous, feminine and luxurious designs that have graced the silhouettes of numerous international celebrities.

Basil Soda Spring/Summer 2012 Haute Couture Collection focused on tailored shapes with intricate detailing like feathers which added a modern edge to the pieces. Neutrals, greys, pale pink, sunflower yellow and cinnamon set the color story with pops of black. The romanticism of the collection offered up a side of delicate fabrics, layers of embroidery, lace and sheer detailing which revealed hints of skin. The refined and clean lines also revealed finely crafted silhouettes. The serene setting on the runway allowed the garments to take center stage and showcase why the Lebanese designer is getting notable attention. Giuliana Rancic recently wore one of his gown on the red carpet at the SAG Awards and she looked gorgeous. "I have been a huge fan of Basil Soda, so I'am hoping to see more oh his pieces on the red carpet."

Enjoy some of my private architectural pictures from Beyrouth down-town, which I took last year during my stay in this wonderful city and, BASIL SODA Couture 2012 fashion show at the end of this post. LoL, Andrea

Fashion designer Basil Soda opened contemporary Couture Fashion House in the Heart of Beyrouth, marking ten years working and creating under his own name. Basil studied architecture, fashion design and hat making in Beyrouth before moving to the arabian Peninsula  where he masters the art of embroidery, he then joins Elie Saab as foreman. His unique expertise at hand, he establishes, in 2000, his very own brand and Fashion House. From his new sanctuary, Basil Soda talks openly of his love to architecture, from which he has borrowed fine-cut lines, a unity of space and pure volumes. Architecture. A favorite subject and constant source of inspiration.

The oblong, stone clad exterior of Basil Soda's fashion house in Beyrouth oozes style. Inside the design is minimalist, with graphite-colored tables, sofas and walls while the fashion collection itself is conspicuously absent, a handful of mannequins the only indication you are not in the lobby of some boutique hotel.

Cut from a single block of sand-colored stone, its minimal facade and simple features invite you in, at once, to penetrate the secrets of couture. Once inside, the store, basked in natural daylight, adorns a palette of grays. A play of mirrors diffracts all proportions projecting silhouettes, colorful dresses and architectural pieces outside their frames. A mise-en-abime where reflections ricochet, echo one another and duplicate space of infinity ... Time stands still to allow each client a suspended moment with every dress.

The building is a perfect mix of fashion and interior design, Soda's designs emphasize women's curves, while the interior is linear and clean cut - mirroring the designers's pencil marks and tailor's scissors to optimize the fabric on show. For Basil Soda who, since 2000, has carved out for a niche for himself as one of the Lebanon's leading designers in Haute couture, the 2009 building is a symbol of a decade of creativity and a lifetime's passion. That the building has turned out the way it is, is down to a fusion of Soda's ideas and interior designer Danny Aoun's abiliities. "After working on my house with Danny, it was different doing a work space as I needed a place I could be relaxed in - it's my playground," he said. "But I knew what I want, and he's a good listener and artist." The layered building has a workshop on the lower floor, the boutique and a more private area upstairs for meeting customers. the decision to use gray for the custom-made furniture and walls was a reflection of modernity and unity. "It will last longer in terms and trends, unlike black and white. And you can combine gray with any shades of a fashion collection. The choice was also influenced by my liking of the graphite look, as I don't use pens but pencils," said Soda.

While Soda is a perfectionist, he sees the importance of contrasts and mixing styles, as in his fashion when using raw silk. "To see an unfinished product has a beauty. Raw materials are like a chandelier with rope, and such a mixture gives a new view," he added. And while the interior is all straight lines to not detract the eye's attention, Soda carried out a tiny touch that makes all the difference in such a minimalist environment - the tables are gracefully curved, "for some feminity and allure."


Selections by ANDREA JANKE Finest Accessories

Photo Credit/Source: © VOGUE
Photography by © Yannis Vlamos/GoRunway
Beyrouth pictures: Photography by © ANDREA JANKE

1 comment:

Shagun said...

Well defined, structured designs. A feminine couture with somber edge.The embellishments are intricate yet subtle. My favorite is burnt sienna gown with gold embellish on the waist & bodice.It's very interesting, you've added personal impressions of trip to beyrouth. Fascinating editorial, Dear Andrea!!!...Cheers, Shagun

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