PARIS: Lebanon’s Maison Rabih Kayrouz took to the runway this week for the first time in three years, showing an elevated collection that toyed with the boundaries of ready-to-wear and haute couture fashion.
For his namesake label, the Lebanese designer sent models ambling through a maze of rooms in a Paris mansion, heels resonating on the wooden floor, in chic evening dresses and tailored suits.
There was just a sprinkling of sparkles, with embroidered embellishments, high around the waist and the neck of a sleeveless dress. But most looks came in single colors such as ivory or black, as well as a bright marigold yellow.
Kayrouz, who is known for a clean, understated elegance in his styles often seen on the red carpet said he imagined a woman after a full day, brimming with confidence.
“For me, haute couture is not one style, not one situation — it’s know-how,” he told reporters after the show.
Kayrouz also said that since the pandemic he has been interested in the role of clothing as protection, which he offered in his capes, jackets and dresses which served to cover the body.
Jackets were wrapped snugly across the waist, forming folds, while trousers carried a crisp crease down the middle, slightly flared at the bottom.
For the finale, models walked in pairs, carrying glasses of champagne, offering them to members of the audience as the crowd erupted in applause.
The show took place on the first day of Haute Couture Week in Paris, which runs through Thursday and features the world’s most prestigious fashion houses, including Christian Dior and Chanel.
Kayrouz is the only Lebanese designer to be an official member of the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, the official Haute Couture body.
One of the models on the runway was Nadine Strittmatter from Switzerland. She wore a green turtle neck top with black low-high skirt. “Thrilled to close your show today @maisonrabihkayrouz and to see all my friends again,” she wrote on her Instagram Stories.
The highly anticipated show was attended by Kayrouz’s fans, including US model and content creator Emma Brooks and Paris-based model Xiayan.