Beyoncé-worn brand Bouguessa is ideal for an elegant Eid

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Bouguessa’s designs are distinguished by a sharp attention to tailoring details. (Photo supplied)
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The brand is known for its angular, minimalist cuts.
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The brand is the brainchild of French-Algerian designer Faiza Bouguessa.
Updated 09 June 2018
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Beyoncé-worn brand Bouguessa is ideal for an elegant Eid

  • The pieces in the Holy Month edit bear the brand’s hallmark minimalism
  • Bouguessa’s designs are distinguished by a sharp attention to tailoring details

BEIRUT: Flipping through a Bouguessa look book is like looking at a city skyline: The long, structured silhouettes have an elegant architecture to them, a neatness recalling the gleaming towers that hover above the cosmopolitan bustle.

This year’s Eid edit is no exception, with angular, minimalist cuts in muted colors that speak to an haute design drawing board. The A-line long trench, in a taupe linen, suggests business suite chic, while the puff sleeved button dress features long, crisp panels and metallic stripes, which resemble a skyscraper’s bold facade.

For those eager to make a statement this Eid, the silk kaftan with puffed, petal-like sleeves and subtle gold piping at the rounded collar provides an elegant and modest silhouette.

The pieces in the Holy Month edit bear the brand’s hallmark minimalism, but subtle design elements like marbled buttons and two-toned belts push the collection beyond any brutalist pastiche.

Bouguessa’s designs are distinguished by a sharp attention to tailoring details. With each stitch rigidly accounted for, the starkly elegant pieces speak volumes even without embroidery or ornaments. Best of all, the clean patterns and muted color palette provide the perfect canvas for festive accessories and jewelry.

The brand is the eponymous brainchild of French-Algerian designer Faiza Bouguessa. While the sharp hems on her maxi dresses and severe collars of her signature abayas bespeak fashion-school refinement, Bouguessa taught herself the art of design. Unable to attend expensive fashion institutes in France where she grew up, she learned to sew from her seamstress grandmother and flipped through fashion magazines with her mother from a young age.

While she studied English literature at University, Bouguessa took up internships and apprenticeships with local tailors learning how to cut patterns and select fabrics to create refined, sophisticated clothing.

After moving to the UAE as a flight attendant, Bouguessa launched the label by herself in 2014 in Dubai.

Often playing with modern variations on traditional silhouettes, Bouguessa initially drew attention for creating long robes and elegant, minimalist geometric kaftans — a trend she dubbed the “global abaya.” Taking aesthetic cues from the Islamic wardrobe staple, Bouguessa’s clean, straight lines began to generate buzz well beyond the Middle East.

After a write up in Vogue Italia and subsequently parading her designs down the catwalk at Milan Fashion Week in 2015, Beyoncé donned a geometric, belted abaya by the brand in a photoshoot posted on her website. Two years later, when the songstress donned a green velvet Bouguessa robe in an Instagram photoshoot, the snaps generated millions of likes and the garment sold out almost immediately.

With an exposure boost from Queen B and a canny ability to bridge cultural fashion trends, the brand has developed mass appeal. A regular at Paris Fashion Week, Bouguessa has built upon the “global abaya” motif and now features ready to wear items, from crisp skirts to high-waisted pants.

Bouguessa has successfully integrated the abaya and other garments local to the region — like the Algerian haik — into the global sartorial vocabulary. The pieces serve both as a link between modest and main street fashion and as a reminder of the creative potential in the region.


Beyoncé wears Tunisian-French design in viral video

Updated 20 June 2018
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Beyoncé wears Tunisian-French design in viral video

DUBAI: Beyoncé and Jay-Z stunned fans by dropping a surprise joint album this week, and the artistic video for the lead track, “Apes***,” sees the Grammy-winning queen of pop wearing a turban by French-Tunisian milliner Donia Allegue.

The nine-track album “Everything Is Love” dropped Saturday on the Tidal music streaming service that Jay-Z partially owns, before the couple released it on Spotify on Monday.
The pop diva and hip-hop superstar announced the album from the stage in London as they wrapped up the British leg that opened a global tour.

The couple also put out an elaborately choreographed video that takes place inside the Louvre museum in Paris for “Apes***,” AFP reported.

The video opens with the couple standing regally in front of the “Mona Lisa” — Jay-Z in a light green double-breasted suit, Beyoncé in a lavender pantsuit — and features a squad of scantily clad dancers moving sensually in front of Jacques Louis David’s “The Coronation of Napoleon.”

In a later scene, Beyoncé dons a floor-length black turban by Donia Allegue with a nude-colored bodysuit by French design house Cadolle. According to Vogue Arabia, Allegue revealed that the headpiece took eight hours to create and is made of six meters of tulle.

“Honored and proud to have adorned Queen @beyonce (with) an exceptional headpiece for her grandiose clip,” the design house posted on its Instagram page this week.

The video is a veritable treasure trove of sartorial high points chosen by stylist Zerina Akers, who scored the latest designs from international runways, as well as custom pieces from various high-end brands.

Fashion aside, the album, driven by warm, sultry soul with a largely hip-hop cadence, marries the styles of the two artists but is more consistent with the recent direction of Jay-Z.
The two stars have recorded together previously, notably on the Beyoncé-led single “Drunk in Love,” but the album comes after an especially public window into their marriage.
Beyonce on her last solo album “Lemonade” in 2016 revealed infidelity on the part of Jay-Z, who a year later asked forgiveness on his own album “4:44.”

This year, as the title of “Everything is Love” implies, their relationship is apparently swell.

On the final track, the joyously brassy “Lovehappy,” the two acknowledge past pain but also their efforts to reconcile.

“We’re flawed / But we’re still perfect for each other,” Beyoncé sings.

As two of the most prominent African Americans in pop culture Jay-Z and Beyoncé have played increasingly visible political roles, from campaigning for former president Barack Obama to championing the Black Lives Matter movement.

“Everything is Love” offers a paean to African American identity in “Black Effect,” which opens in Beyoncé fashion with a monologue about self-love before a haunting soul sample.
Jay-Z on the song name-checks Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old African American shot dead in 2012 by a neighborhood watchman in a Florida gated community, and raps, in a twist on performers’ rote calls for crowd gesticulation, “Get your hands up high like a false arrest.”