Fashion runs in Lara Khoury‘s blood. Her own aunt was a designer and let young Lara explore her workshop in Beirut, discovering the world of fabrics, cuts and silhouette first hand.
Inspired by this early exposure, Lara set off to Paris to enrol in fashion school, Ecole Supérieure de la Mode. Here she perfected her craft and landed a job working alongside fellow Lebanese designer, Elie Saab. From here she was able to see exactly how a fashion brand runs and took the plunge to start her own label…
M E E T L A R A K H O U R Y
How would you describe your brand in three words?
My work is minimal, conceptual and eccentric.
How would you describe the Beirut fashion scene?
The Beirut fashion scene first started with the rise of Elie Saab, when he started to dress celebrities on the red carpet in Hollywood. He introduced the Lebanese glamour and luxurious fashion style to the international market for the first time.
Then came Rabih Kayrouz, who introduced another facet of the Lebanese scene to the world – a more minimal and experimental point of view in fashion. People started to recognise both styles and identified them as Lebanese characteristics.
In the meantime, locally, the fashion scene has been blooming for the past ten years with new flourishing talents, ready to dive into the world of fashion. Every year new talents are born, and bring unique and innovative creations to the market. Personally, I think that fashion is at its best nowadays – it’s a time where brands are being started, developed and held in high regard on an international scale.
What are some of your favourite fabrics to work with?
I am mostly recognised for the abundance of tulle work in my pieces. I feel this fabric is perfect to build volume and, in parallel, keeps the customer in total comfort. I also enjoy working with gazar, muslin or poplin.
Who are your favourite artists or designers?
I have had so many favourites along the years, but my ultimate favourite is, without a doubt, Yohji Yamamoto. He’s been such an inspiration to me, ever since I started designing. He’s a guru of tailoring and an incredible art director.
What was the biggest lesson you learnt whilst working at Elie Saab?
Working with Elie Saab was very challenging for me, knowing that Elie’s style is so different to mine. At that time, I was dreaming of working in other big houses in Paris but, because of the war in 2006, I had to stay in Beirut and start my career here. I had the opportunity to work in all the creative departments of the fashion house, from pattern making for clients to pattern making for collections where we would work personally with Elie. It made me understand the importance of a company, the complexity of each department and how the machine functions. It was quite impressive for a first job, lasting just a year.
If you were not a designer, what would you be?
I would be an architect.
When you want to take your mind off fashion, what do you do to unwind?
I do yoga. For me, it’s the best practice to relax, breath, make you travel in different dimensions, change your state of mind, make you realise the presence of every inch of your body. Yoga changed my life.
If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?
I would go to Brazil, my second home!
What are you working on next?
I am currently working on three new collections; my menswear that should be out by the end of the month, my bridal collection that will be launched by the end of December, and my next RTW collection for women, which will be showcased during the Paris Fashion Week in March 2017.
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