Lebanon’s Hussein Bazaza fuses storytelling, fashion design

Hussein Bazaza is known for his edgy, whimsical take on fashion. (Getty)
Updated 09 October 2019

Lebanon’s Hussein Bazaza fuses storytelling, fashion design

BEIRUT: Lebanese fashion designer Hussein Bazaza is known for his edgy, whimsical take on fashion and Arab News caught up with rising star before he sends a clutch of models down the runway at Arab Fashion Week in Dubai on Friday.

The designer graduated from ESMOD Beirut in 2011 and kickstarted his career by interning with iconic Lebanese fashion house Maison Rabih Kayrouz in Paris, before he joined Elie Saab as a junior designer.

Bazaza was also selected to be part of the Starch Foundation in Beirut, a non-profit organization founded by designers Kayrouz and Tala Hajjar that helps launch emerging Lebanese designers. “(It) opened a big door for me. I started selling my pieces to actual customers in the Starch Boutique,” Bazaza told Arab News.

At the tender age of 23, Bazaza opened his first showroom and atelier in Beirut.

“In 2014, I created my professional brand and I was part of Fashion Forward Dubai, where I started showing my collections. The Arab World started to know more about my brand and (about) me as a designer,” Bazaza said.

Bazaza’s label has a unique take on fashion, he believes. “I have a special way in mixing colors, mixing fabrics and textures together. I love to combine between haute-couture and ready-to-wear.”

The designer’s love for haute-couture fashion inspired him to create mash ups of glamorous red-carpet styles and more effortless looks. “I did not know people would love this combination. People started referring to this style as Hussein Bazaza’s style so that was something I am proud of,” he said of his sporty chic aesthetic.

Before studying fashion design, Bazaza wanted to major in film making and it is why the designer loves creating stories with his pieces. “My main inspiration is not fashion, it’s the story I create, the character I create to dress up in this collection that I’m making every season,” he explained.

This desire to tell a story first came to the fore in his Fall/Winter 2018 collection, “Lilly.”

“‘Lilly’ was like a big story and people were so involved with this story. We live in a… digital world with social media and everything and I wanted to show people that we still have feelings, emotions and I wanted to create a story about this.”


Arab designs add flair to the SAGs red carpet

Jennifer Lopez was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress award for her role in “Hustlers.” (AFP)
Updated 20 January 2020

Arab designs add flair to the SAGs red carpet

DUBAI: Arab designers took over the red carpet at Sunday’s Screen Actors Guild Awards, with the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Yvonne Strahovski and Sian Clifford showing off looks from the Middle East.

Singer and actress Lopez, who was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress award for her role in “Hustlers,” showed off a sleek black number by Lebanese designer Georges Hobeika, complete with an off-the-shoulder neckline and thigh-high slit. The column gown featured a floor-grazing train and the star accessorized the look with sparkling diamonds and a chic up-do with fronds of hair framing her face.

Meanwhile, Australian actress Strahovski opted for an all-white look by London-based Emirati label Khyeli.

Jennifer Lopez showed off a sleek black number by Lebanese designer Georges Hobeika. (AFP)

Helmed by designer Ahmed Khyeli, the fashion house dressed Strahovski in an ethereal column gown from its Spring/Summer 2020 collection.

The look featured a peek-a-boo cutout on the bodice, along with elegant off-the-shoulder sleeves that ended just above the elbows.

British stage and TV actress Clifford chose to show off a dramatic burgundy velvet pantsuit, complete with a plunging neckline and gold detailing on the jet black lapels. The glamorous evening look came courtesy of Lebanese couturier Zuhair Murad.

Yvonne Strahovski opted for an all-white look by London-based Emirati label Khyeli. (AFP)

The leading ladies were all in attendance when South Korean film “Parasite” shocked the Screen Actors Guild Awards by landing the night’s top prize, a historic win which thrusts the black comedy into Oscars contention.

The critical smash hit film overcame the language barrier to win outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture, the SAG equivalent of a best film Academy Award, AFP reported.

“I’m a little embarrassed feeling like we’re the parasites of Hollywood now,” joked actor Lee Sun-Kyun.

Director Bong Joon-Ho admitted that “it is true that the momentum is building” for the Oscars.

Sian Clifford chose to show off a dramatic burgundy velvet pantsuit. (AFP)

The film, which merges comedy, drama and horror genres, follows a poor family as it infiltrates a wealthier household, and tackles the widening class gulf.

“Although the title is ‘Parasite,’ I think the film is about coexistence and how we can all live together,” said star Song Kang-ho, collecting the award.

The much-hyped movie had missed out on main prizes at the Golden Globes and Saturday’s Producers Guild Awards.

But Sunday’s win underlines the breakout movie’s extraordinary popularity in Hollywood.

It beat “Bombshell,” “The Irishman,” “Jojo Rabbit” and “Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood” at the star-studded ceremony in Los Angeles.