Last week I was in Beirut for my cousin’s wedding; a Lebanese wedding is quite an adventure : women wear their most beautiful jewels, the dresses parade like on a red carpet with embroided lace trains, there’s also the indispensable excessively large bun on some women’s’ heads, you have to stand straight and there’s also the décolleté to manage. Aside from the high heels, I don’t really master all of these codes. I needed a custom made silhouette in which I would feel sufficiently confident to face this very codified event of Beirut society.
To be honest, I was very scared to not measure up to these codes and that people would laugh at this “Lebanese in Paris”, but I couldn’t very well dress up to please them. With Cherine Khadra, – it’s really weird to me to say her full name since she is my childhood friend, we have known each other for 15 years – we came up with different silhouettes before settling on this printed organza silk dress.
It’s my first custom made dress. I didn’t really know how it worked, but I had absolute faith in her work and her kind listening skills. I started off by telling her I wanted an aerial silhouette. We were in April and it was still grey in Paris so I really craved colour, something vivid et happy. I insisted on the colour red, I wanted something plain to bring flair to this aerial silhouette. She listened to me and our exchange was mostly by email, she was in Beirut and I was in Paris.
Very fast, we alluded to the crucial question of the length of the dress: “So Cherine, I don’t want it to be neither long nor short!” I have to say I wasn’t a very easy client, I wanted everything at the same time, to be feminine without underlining my curves, a length that extended my petite silhouette, but no structure in said silhouette, something happy but plain…This is where the designer’s experience comes into play. She wasn’t really caught off guard by all of my requests, and understood that for this very first made to measure dress, I would want EVERYTHING. She was there to decide and guide me. As I was insisting on the red, Cherine suggested a red and fushia floral print, “Samar, I fell in love with this print that’ll bring a touch of couture to this aerial dress!” I agreed without even seeing the print, a question of trust. I told you, a wedding in Beirut is quite the adventure.
The aerial part now, a large dress isn’t just a simple fabric that you drape around yourself like a towel, the idea is certainly appealing and comfortable, but the movement had to be elegant. I had gone off on the whole plissé idea and Cherine opted for a spaced plissé, all in fullness, with little gatherings at the bust, and, to give a “prêt à porter” spirit to my made to measure dress, two pockets on the side for my hands to slide in.
It’s rare to see a guest wearing a short dress to a Lebanese wedding. But I absolutely wanted to show off my beautiful Roger Vivier shoes embroidered with pearls. That’s why the dress was short in the front and grazed the floor in the back…
If I told you I was the queen of the night, I would be lying, someone asked me if I was pregnant and I gave myself the pleasure of answering Yes with a large smile! Ok, I’m not pregnant but how do you explain to this woman that we don’t have to be expecting a bundle of joy to be bundled up in a dress? Don’t expect a compliment but more disguised criticism, ” the dress is beautiful, but it’s too summery for spring and the location “… Cherine, tasteful designer but always the diplomat answers with a smile, ” you know, this dress is in her image, aerial and happy, and Samar has a well defined style, she doesn’t follow seasons or trends for that matter “.
So that was the adventure of my custom made dress by Atelier C.Custom made Dress: Cherine Khadra Shoes and Clutch: Roger Vivier Earrings and Indian Bracelets: Mukhi sisters Photo Contributor: Lama Mattar Make Up: Claudine Choueiri
Location: Saifi Village