Georges Hobeika steals the show at Paris Couture Week

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Highlights included a lilac, 1950s-style dress. (AFP)
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A rainbow-toned gown dazzled onlookers. (AFP)
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Cindy Bruna modelled a sugar pink outfit. (AFP)
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The designer created a dramatic tangerine-colored gown. (AFP)
Updated 22 January 2019

Georges Hobeika steals the show at Paris Couture Week

DUBAI: Lebanese fashion house Georges Hobeika sent models down the runway in a dreamy collection of gowns on Monday as part of Paris Couture Week.

The elite fashion week, which kicked off on Jan. 21, features four designers from the Arab world — Maison Rabih Kayrouz, Georges Hobeika, Elie Saab and Zuhair Murad — who are showing off their latest couture collections alongside the fashion industry’s most sought-after labels. 

The Lebanese labels are joined on the fashion week schedule by the likes of Christian Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier and Ralph & Russo in the four-day showcase that will wrap up on Jan. 24.

Hobeika’s spring/summer haute couture collection went on show at Paris’s National Theater of Chaillot and saw models, including French star Cindy Bruna and Angolan Maria Borge, strut down the catwalk in a line-up of regal evening wear.

Pastel shades, sequins and feathers were interspersed with dramatic dark gowns, with A-line skirts and bare shoulders on show.

Highlights included a lilac, 1950s-style dress with a tea-length skirt and boxy jacket with a square neckline. The look was completed with fingerless gloves, which looked more chic than punk due to the fine embellishment on show.

A galactic gown dazzled onlookers with its rainbow-toned palette and glinting sequin work that created the overall effect of a multi-hued milky way drifting down the runway.

The couturier employed a range of rich fabrics in the collection, such as silk, duchesse satin and chiffon and even presented a bridal gown that was encrusted in crystal work with a semi-sheer bodice and wide, train-heavy skirt.

Lebanese designers Elie Saab and Zuhair Murad will round out the Arab offerings at Paris Couture Week with their shows, both of which will be held on Wednesday.


British hijab-wearing model Mariah Idrissi has it covered

Updated 17 August 2019

British hijab-wearing model Mariah Idrissi has it covered

  • “Saudi Arabia is a blessed land both physically and spiritually,” Idrissi said
  • “I would love to be a part of changing some of the stereotypes around the country through my work in fashion and film,” Idrissi commented

LONDON: Born in North West London to Moroccan and Pakistani parents, model Mariah Idrissi has made quite a name for herself – starring in campaigns for major high street retailers, hosting TED Talks and sharing snaps of her travels with her 88,000 Instagram followers.
The hijab-wearing model has been vocal about her preference for modest fashion and spoke to Arab News about her style, faith and achievements.
“I wear hijab to represent my faith, my culture, and because I genuinely love the idea of modest dress,” she said. “I think it’s important to feel comfortable in what you wear and also not lose a sense of your personality, hence why there is so much diversity in modest styles.”


Her breakthrough came when she was scouted in a shopping center. She did not think it would lead to anything; however, she was casted for an H&M ad. “The campaign went viral. From that moment I realized how little the media represented Muslims, and if they did it was often negative. That motivated me to continue to pursue a career in fashion and change the narrative around how hijab is viewed in the West,” she explained.
She also gave her first significant public speech in 2016, a TEDxTeen live-streamed to millions, about how modest clothing has now become a trend. Idrissi believes the fashion industry is catering more to women who want modest wear than it did a decade ago.
“I feel it is definitely improving,” she said. “Summertime can still be a little bit of a struggle in comparison to autumn and winter which is cooler, so there is still room for improvement.”


After her breakthrough with H&M, Idrissi went on to participate in projects with leading brands, including MAC Cosmetics and M&S in the Middle East. She also looks forward to working on projects in Saudi Arabia when an opportunity arises.
“Saudi Arabia is a blessed land both physically and spiritually. I feel there is so much potential and opportunity. I would love to be a part of changing some of the stereotypes around the country through my work in fashion and film,” Idrissi said.
She is now working on a few film projects, both features and documentaries, to continue challenging negative stereotypes around Muslims.


Moreover, she aims to inspire other potential modest models and advises them to always ask why before embarking on this path. Asking why has helped her on this career journey because even through difficult times, she was able to push forward.
As her upbringing has taught her, Idrissi is demonstrating that modernity and progression are not in conflict with tradition and customs: They are two sides of the same coin.