Designer Yassmin Saleh’s work inspired by Lebanon’s political, economic situation

Yassmin Saleh uses art to raise awareness on psychological and sociological issues. (Supplied)
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Updated 21 May 2020

Designer Yassmin Saleh’s work inspired by Lebanon’s political, economic situation

DUBAI: From making outfits out of her dad’s tailored suits and her mom’s preppy pieces, Lebanese fashion designer Yassmin Saleh now has an established brand, under her name, that uses art to raise awareness on psychological and sociological issues.

Speaking to Arab News about her latest DWELLER spring-summer 2020 pieces, Saleh said: “Every collection starts with a story.”

For the label’s latest release, Saleh, and her sister Farah – the cofounder of the label – were inspired by the political and economic situation in Lebanon.

“The collection tells the story of a population wishing for a blank slate,” Saleh said. “They no longer want to abide by the rules and feel as though they were Bedouins.”

To balance opposing facets, her pieces portrayed the “desert dwellers’” sentiments through draped and oversize cuts, with earthy tones, while the “corrupt keepers,” she said, are shown through classic shapes and tailored pieces.

Not only do Saleh’s designs hold a message, but they also resemble forms of art, through her Tattoo Series, that trigger conversations with the public.

This “form of wearable art,” she said, has become a signature of her brand. “Each collection carries a Tattoo Series that reflect the brand’s commitment to the issues of our time,” the 26-year-old designer added.

Touching on the current coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, Saleh, who studied fashion design, said the ongoing global health crisis had positives and negatives for the future of the industry.

“On one hand, the virus has forced us to slow down. On the other hand, we must recognize that the world is suffering economically and there will be tough times to come, especially for emerging brands,” the Beirut-based designer said.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

#WearingYS - Dana Hourani wearing our “Jeddo Pants” from FW19 Available on www.yassminsaleh.com

A post shared by YASSMIN SALEH (@yassminsaleh) on

The challenging times have allowed Saleh and her sister to come up with creative strategies to keep their brand alive. “We have realized that it’s not so bad after all.”

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

#WearingYS - Lana El Sahely wearing our “Hidden” dress from FW19 Available on www.yassminsaleh.com

A post shared by YASSMIN SALEH (@yassminsaleh) on

Despite being a sustainable brand already, the current situation has inspired the duo to create a 100 percent sustainable, limited-edition line that is expected to launch soon.


Paris Couture Week to go digital in July

Updated 30 May 2020

Paris Couture Week to go digital in July

DUBAI: For the first time ever, the Federation de la Haute Couture et de la Mode said it would stage an online version of Paris Couture Week from July 6 to 8. 

“Each house will be represented in the form of a creative film or video,” the federation stated, adding “Additional content will be included in an editorialized section of the platform. All of this will be widely shared on the main international media networks.” 

It has not yet been confirmed which designers will take part in the new digital concept, but the week typically features design talent from the region, including Lebanese fashion houses Elie Saab, Zuhair Murad and Maison Rabih Kayrouz, among others.

Meanwhile, a few of the fashion houses that have been granted the official haute couture designation have opted out from showing this season.

 Jean Paul Gaultier, who handed over the reins of his couture business to Sacai’s Chitose Abe as the first in a series of rotating guest designers, announced the couture show would be postponed until January. Italian designer Giorgio Armani did the same for his Armani Privé collection, while Balenciaga, which was set to debut its first couture collection in over 50 years, has also postponed.