MAD ABOUT YOU
Despite how unconventional you may think you are when it comes to fashion, on your wedding day, if you are like most, you’ll probably opt for that quintessential white dress.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
When you’re a celebrity, it’s easier to be daring – think back to 1969, when Audrey Hepburn wore a pink mini dress for her wedding. Today’s stars and celebrities run the bridal gamut, from white jumpsuits to crop tops and colorful prints. Even if you aren’t ready to completely disregard ritual, the good news is that there are options for alternative bridal wear in Lebanon.
Take Lara Khoury’s Sow, a debut bridal collection of four gowns and four men’s suits. “This collection is for those who are looking for something unusual, fun and comfortable,” she says. From the tiny pleats on her bodices, with the tulle underneath lending generous volume but not exaggerating the fall of the fabric, to the different lengths she plays with in the same dress (and shorter suit lengths) and the lightness of the material – off-white silk and organza – her collection stands out for its monochrome elegance. Not to mention its functionality. “You may not be able to see it here,” she quips, “but I’ve integrated pockets in the women’s dresses. The bride needs to put her mobile somewhere – she might want to Instagram.”
Then there’s Krikor Jabotian’s spring/summer collection (both Jabotian and Khoury were from the first generation of Starch designers, going on to establish their own labels). It’s true that Krikor doesn’t actually designate his bridalwear as such, but the majority of his work sells as wedding dresses. A master with lace, he demonstrates how details become more visible when their backdrop diverges from white. “The problem with white is that it’s two-dimensional, which is why I like to incorporate different shades,” he explains. His off-white, champagne or ecru designs have clean, geometric cuts, some ankle-length, others with capes, resembling ‘50s frocks rather than your typical wedding dress. “White is only good on a small scale, otherwise you drown in it,” he continues. “Of course, some clients want the Cinderella wedding dress, which I can do. I just don’t find it challenging.”
There’s also Cynthia Nakhlé, who founded Something Blue, the now two-year-old bridal boutique, after noticing the gap in the market for mid-range designer gown options. All of the designers that Something Blue carries are New York-based and range from boho chic to the more conservative. “As alternative as a girl might be,” she says, “it’s funny how tame she will get on her wedding day. I think fabric looks better, or more premium, in a color like ivory, and although the dresses we have for show are mostly off-white, they all come in a colored version too.” There’s the dramatic Hayley Paige dress with a halter high-neck alabaster-and-crystal bodice, a flounce skirt in full horse hair and the more understated lace and tulle crop top, with buttons lining the back and skirt. The latter is part of a Something Blue capsule collection created in collaboration with Azzi & Osta. Nakhlé’s personal favorite is a strapless ostrich feather dress by Elizabeth Fillmore, all laser-cut.
It goes to show that semi-traditional can still be sensational, especially when it’s balanced with modernity – and a little bit of fearlessness.