when art and fashion collide
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Last Updated : GMT 17:34:35
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From Lebanon have entertained

When art and fashion collide

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Emiratesvoice, emirates voice When art and fashion collide

While the highly revered fashion names
London - Arab Today

While the highly revered fashion names from Lebanon have entertained the fashion world for years and undoubtedly continue to do so, it’s time we wanted a few new faces who could break the monotony and give us varied and powerful collections with a fresh spin. Something that’s sort of edgy yet sophisticated at its core!
One such well-known name to have emerged and be reckoned with in recent years when it comes to this coveted line is a Beirut-based Swiss-born designer Sandra Mansour whose prêt-a-porter collections have continued to appeal to both the fashionistas and fashion industry alike since 2010, the year she launched her eponymous label.
In an exclusive interview with Arab News, we caught up with her to discuss what drove her to become a fashion designer, what it means to her and much more.
For Mansour, the notion of fashion meant just one thing: the ability to create, a blank canvas to infuse art and style together. “It was the endless possibilities that drew me to it,” she says.
This revelation became apparent to her when she enrolled at Beaux Arts, Geneva after graduating from Webster University Geneva in Business Management. She felt quite at ease with herself once she got here. “I majored in art from Beaux Arts and it implanted in me an addiction for sketching which is very much part of my process,” she says. “I get my ideas from everywhere but mostly art or shall I say artists who bring out a side of me which allows me to escape and create these pieces that tell great stories.”
Then, she moved to Paris to do her Master’s in Fashion Design at Istituto Marangoni in order to immerse herself in the actual world of fashion.
“As a painter I’m in love with Anselm Kiefer, especially his recent floral works that he showcased in Center Pompidou,” Mansour says. “As a designer I’m in love with Haider Ackermann and his simplicity, fabrics and grandness.”
From the start, her brand has been known for bold prints and elegant hand embroidery. It’s no wonder that she and her team spend a lot of time creating exclusive prints and embroideries that aspire to tell a story. “This is what binds all the pieces together,” she says.
The success of her brand as it meets new clientele every day is closely linked to what Mansour envisaged it to be — something different. “I wanted to create a creative and fashion forward brand for strong women, prêt-a-porter with edginess,” she says.
Asked whether the objective in terms of her brand philosophy has shifted in any way since its launch six years ago, she says, “Well, it has evolved, because everything changes with time, but more or less it still revolves around the same aim, which is women, wanting them to find elegant and creative pieces.”
Mansour’s ensembles are always teeming with lace which, she says, is such a feminine but powerful fabric. Then, other fabrics that she uses with the same degree of love are the likes of mousseline, guipure, jacquard and brocade.
She pays equal attention to colors since they are indispensable to her collections. “Colors are everything, even if they are docile and soft they make the piece. They are essential to me because of my background as a painter. Throughout every collection I prefer to work with a master dyer where we develop and produce different tones and shades,” Mansour says.
Her gorgeous creations are designed to complement the personality of confident women who aren’t afraid to stand out. And this is how women in the Middle East apparently come across, Mansour goes on to say: “Women’s appetite for flawless fashion in the region is evidently huge. I love how women in the Middle East dress. You don’t see it anywhere else in the world. We are able to infuse Oriental and ornamental style with very Western looks, which gives them such flare. It’s beautiful.”
While celebs like Lady Gaga, Nicole Scherzinger, Kristina Bazan, Nancy Ajram, Nykhor-Nyakueinyang Paul and Leaf Greener to name a few having worn her dresses, Mansour doesn’t rely too much on the mania surrounding the celebrity endorsement. “For me, it’s like not too much, not too little. Nevertheless, it’s exciting to see someone famous wear and appreciate your piece, and then to see how the public reacts is even more exciting,” she says.
Her FW16-17 collection is a blueprint of total empowerment to women the world over. “With this collection, I wanted to create a magical warrior, and delve into her extraordinary journey through this hunt print that we created and collaborated with a Romanian artist and illustrator named Aitch. It’s made up of pieces for the empowered individual woman, with key pieces like the bomber jacket,” she says. “The collection is one of my favorites because it’s both so feminine but loud, a soft loud if that makes sense. The cuts are a mixture of Oriental and Occidental style, and the prints are opulent.”
Even though bridal wear isn’t considered a routine task by Mansour at the moment, she does design made-to-order bridal dresses every now and then. But she knows what haute couture demands from a designer. “It’s extremely delicate to excel in for many reasons; mostly being that you have to translate your client’s needs into reality and then execute that dream impeccably for them. It’s a beautiful and intricate process like a small and intimate journey,” she says.
She has experienced changes individually since her foray into fashion. “My outlook on life has certainly changed for the better. I guess I see the process of clothing very differently than I used to, because I’m involved in the entire A-Z of creating.”
With a robust response she is getting from the industry and interested parties, Mansour is keen to launch her bridal wear line as well. “I’m looking forward to having my own fashion show during (Paris Fashion Week) one day, and a boutique soon,” she says.

Source: Arabnews

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