Lebanese couturier Georges Hobeika has once again met and exceeded heavy expectations with his fairy-tale collection for Fall 2017, giving the gift of his trademark glamorous gowns. Turning to great architecture and storied traditions harking from Andalusia, the vibrant energy of the collection is inspired by styles that have developed throughout the ages on the Iberian Peninsula. Cue intricate embroidery, bold silhouettes accentuating femininity, and distinctly glamorous gowns primed for high-society events.
In this exclusive interview, we get to know the thoughtful, artistic designer, from his atelier in Beirut to the front row in Paris.
Who is the Georges Hobeika woman?
The spirit of the Georges Hobeika woman is the perfect harmony of romance and modernity.
Can you share with us your signature touch on every design?
My signature touch is the unique way I integrate sensual style and contemporary cuts.
How has your aesthetic evolved since you first launched your brand?
The extent of the growth and evolution of my brand is difficult to summarise in one paragraph, but I can say that after many years of dedication, starting from my first couture show in Beirut in 1999, I have been able to progressively expand my brand and make my important move to Paris in 2001. That move has proven to be the most significant advancement the brand made towards achieving international recognition. The opening of my showroom in Paris was then coupled with pursuing a presence on major international red carpets, while at the same time expanding my points of sale. The transformation of my brand was solidified when I became an official Guest Member of the Chambre de la Syndicale at the beginning of 2017.
Can you tell us about your recent Fall 2017 collection, and the inspirations behind it?
This collection is characterised by flamboyance and sophistication, as it draws its vibrant energy from ornamental traditions of Andalusia. The main inspiration behind this collection is the historic architectural styles showcased throughout the Iberian peninsula, especially expressed by palaces designed by artistic genius and filled with gold.
Do you have a standout piece in the collection, and why?
Consistent with the opening design of every one of my couture collections being my favourite, the first look of this collection is the piece that reflects the femininity and Andalusian inspiration in the most captivating way.
The Middle East has gained traction in the fashion industry, and you are one of its premiere forerunners. What do you see in the Middle East’s fashion future?
I believe that fashion’s future in the Middle East is going to surprise the world, consistently bringing more amazing designers to fruition, along with sustaining a thriving consumer market that is passionate about fashion.
What aspect of the Arab culture inspires you the most?
Everything in my beloved country, from its sea to its mountains, is an inspiration for my collections!
Tell us what you think makes couture so special, and why you feel there is still the demand during these times of fast fashion?
At its heart, couture fashion is an art form. It’s a rare craft that combines numerous artistic disciplines, further enhanced by the fact that this art is displayed on living bodies. The uniqueness of this art form is precious and irreplaceable, which is why it will always be in demand.
What do you see in the future for the couture industry?
I see an evolution coming for the couture industry, which will be fuelled by a new generation’s demand for higher quality fashion and designs that express an individual’s signature style.
Can you share with us your biggest achievement in fashion?
The key moments with regards to my brand, my first couture show in Paris and the opening of my showroom in Paris, come together as my biggest achievement: becoming a Guest Member of the Chambre de la Syndicale.
You have designed many iconic and statement dresses, what do you think is the must have piece for the festive season?
I will have to say a gown or ensemble displaying the striking colour combination of red, gold and silver.
What are your top tips for party dressing?
My top tip is to make sure there is a touch of sparkle or glitter with any outfit.
What do you think is the perfect accessory to complete your party look?
Belts, rings, earrings, and ear cuffs, it’s difficult to choose!
What will you be wearing for Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve?
I’ll be wearing a classic ensemble with a touch of red.
What is on your Christmas gift wish list?
Peace and love, especially considering the current state of the world. Nothing is more important than those two things.
Can you share what makes Christmas a special time of year for you?
For me, Christmas time is the time for family. It is also the wonderful time of the year when helping others and sharing love overwhelms the hearts of most people.
By Eliza Scarborough