Lana jets in as Lebanon takes over Paris Couture Week

Lana El Sahely at an event last year. (AFP)
Updated 21 January 2019
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Lana jets in as Lebanon takes over Paris Couture Week

DUBAI: Lebanese influencer Lana El-Sahely will be in France this week to attend a bevy of shows at Paris Couture Week, which kicked off on Monday.

The style star admitted that she failed to make it to the first day of couture week, due to her flight being cancelled, but promised that she would give her followers a “beautiful ride” as the event goes on. 

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Bonjour ..While I was supposed to be enjoying a Parisian breakfast right now, the situation got out of our hands. Last night, as I arrived to the airport, I found out that some birds decided to visit the Plane’s reactors. Hence, my flight got cancelled with no other flying options. I am extremely bummed to be missing today, the special @georgeshobeika @maisonrabihkayrouz shows, but also the dearest tradition to my heart the @dior show, the gorgeous @ralphandrusso show...but also my backstage with @phytoparislb at Rabih Kayrouz’ show and my backstage coverages with @Maccosmetics at Ralph &Russo and @GiambattistaValli. I still promise you a beautiful ride this week☺️, sending you all loads of love. À demain Paris وعسى ان تكرهوا شيئا وهو خير لكم #paris #pfw #pariscoutureweek #coutureweek #hautecouture #fashionweek #parisjetaime #parismonamour

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She took to Instagram earlier in the week to ask her 265,000 followers what they would like to see on her account.

“Dreamy couture week is calling. Sunday with the family and hop (on a plane). What do you want to see more of? The shows, the trending pieces, the Parisian lifestyle, the parties? Help,” she posted on Instagram, alongside a photo of her in a red-and-pink outfit by Lebanon-based designer Krikor Jabotian.

Similar striking looks will no doubt go on show at Paris Couture Week, with four Arab fashion labels taking part in the elite event.

Maison Rabih Kayrouz, Georges Hobeika, Elie Saab and Zuhair Murad have all been invited to showcase their collections in Paris and are part of a high-end group of just 31 labels to take part in January’s showcase.

The Lebanese labels will be joined by the likes of Christian Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier and Ralph & Russo at Paris Couture Week, which ends on Jan. 24.

It is a particularly memorable year for Lebanese fashion house Maison Rabih Kayrouz, which will show off its collection on Monday, as the label was just granted haute couture status by the French Couture Federation.

The decision to grant the fashion house the prestigious position was made at a Dec. 3 meeting between the French Couture Federation and France’s Industry Ministry, although the announcement was made last week.

Maison Rabih Kayrouz was elected as a guest member of the haute couture calendar in 2016 — guest members can take part in the couture week showcases but cannot use the label “haute couture” — but managed to nab the official label at the end of 2018.

Other iconic fashion houses to be hold the haute couture tag include Givenchy, Chanel and Maison Margiela.

For her part, El-Sahely is in Paris after a dizzying few weeks — she spent a whirlwind 24 hours in Geneva last week as luxury watchmaker IWC Schaffhausen launched a new range at a glamorous bash in the Swiss city. 

The stylish influencer turned heads at the event in a gorgeous, moss-green velvet gown by Elie Saab, which she paired with quirky Dior earrings and a tight up-do.

We have no doubt that the fashion star will pull out all the style stops as Paris Couture Week continues.


Fashion capital New York considers banning sale of fur

Updated 17 April 2019
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Fashion capital New York considers banning sale of fur

  • Lawmakers are pushing a measure that would ban the sale of all new fur products in the city
  • “Cruelty should not be confused with economic development,” a sponsor of the legislation said

NEW YORK: A burgeoning movement to outlaw fur is seeking to make its biggest statement yet in the fashion mecca of New York City.
Lawmakers are pushing a measure that would ban the sale of all new fur products in the city where such garments were once common and style-setters including Marilyn Monroe, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Joe Namath and Sean “Diddy” Combs have all rocked furs over the years.
A similar measure in the state Capitol in Albany would impose a statewide ban on the sale of any items made with farmed fur and ban the manufacture of products made from trapped fur.
Whether this is good or bad depends on which side of the pelt you’re on. Members of the fur industry say such bans could put 1,100 people out of a job in the city alone. Supporters dismiss that and emphasize that the wearing of fur is barbaric and inhumane.
“Cruelty should not be confused with economic development,” said state Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, a Democrat from Manhattan, who is sponsoring the state legislation. “Fur relies on violence to innocent animals. That should be no one’s business.”
The fate of the proposals could be decided in the coming months, though supporters acknowledge New York City’s measure has a better chance of passage than the state legislation.
The fur trade is considered so important to New York’s development that two beavers adorn the city’s official seal, a reference to early Dutch and English settlers who traded in beaver pelts.
At the height of the fur business in the last century, New York City manufactured 80% of the fur coats made in the U.S, according to FUR NYC, a group representing 130 retailers and manufacturers in the city. The group says New York City remains the largest market for fur products in the country, with real fur still frequently used as trim on coats, jackets and other items.
If passed, New York would become the third major American city with such a ban, following San Francisco, where a ban takes effect this year, and Los Angeles, where a ban passed this year will take effect in 2021.
Elsewhere, Sao Paulo, Brazil, began its ban on the import and sale of fur in 2015. Fur farming was banned in the United Kingdom nearly 20 years ago, and last year London fashion week became the first major fashion event to go entirely fur-free.
Fur industry leaders warn that if the ban passes in New York, emboldened animal rights activists will want more.
“Everyone is watching this,” said Nancy Daigneault, vice president at the International Fur Federation, an industry group based in London. “If it starts here with fur, it’s going to go to wool, to leather, to meat.”
When asked what a fur ban would mean for him, Nick Pologeorgis was blunt: “I’m out of business.”
Pologeorgis’ father, who emigrated from Greece, started the fur design and sales business in the city’s “Fur District” nearly 60 years ago.
“My employees are nervous,” he said. “If you’re 55 or 50 and all you’ve trained to do is be a fur worker, what are you going to do?“
Supporters of the ban contend those employees could find jobs that don’t involve animal fur, noting that an increasing number of fashion designers and retailers now refuse to sell animal fur and that synthetic substitutes are every bit as convincing as the real thing.
They also argue that fur retailers and manufacturers represent just a small fraction of an estimated 180,000 people who work in the city’s fashion industry and that their skills can readily be transferred.
“There is a lot of room for job growth developing ethically and environmentally friendly materials,” said City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who introduced the city measure.
New Yorkers asked about the ban this week came down on both sides, with some questioning if a law was really needed.
“It is a matter of personal choice. I don’t think it’s something that needs to be legislated,” said 44-year-old Janet Thompson. “There are lots of people wearing leather and suede and other animal hides out there. To pick on fur seems a little one-sided.”
Joshua Katcher, a Manhattan designer and author who has taught at the Parsons School of Design, says he believes the proposed bans reflect an increased desire to know where our products come from and for them to be ethical and sustainable.
“Fur is a relic,” he said.