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Lebanese Designer Lara Khoury on Bridal Dresses With a Twist and Working for Elie Saab

Lebanese fashion designer Lara Khoury’s experimental feminine silhouettes have garnered a cult-like following in the Middle East and beyond. Now, she is adding her unique sartorial spin to bridal gowns. sits down with Khoury to get an insight into her fashion journey.

ALIA FAWAZ: Can you talk us through your range?

LARA KHOURY: I design ready-to-wear collections that I present twice a year. I’m now preparing my sixth collection for Spring 2016. I also launched my bridal line in February of this year.

How do you describe your style?

I try to reshape women’s bodies with my silhouettes. I like to work out of the box and present something new. But I always keep a feminine touch for women to be comfortable. I love to study fabrics and experiment with them. I would say that my style is a volume game. For example, I may exaggerate the waistline or even show more leg in a dress. Also, with every ready-to-wear collection, I try to have a message.

What kind of a message?

In my previous collection, “Move,” reflected the spirit of a wanderlust. Lebanese people are always leaving their homeland in search of a better life. They are somehow cursed by not being able to find themselves in their homeland and feel compelled to go abroad to search for opportunities—a kind of brain drain happens; this is seen in other countries as well.

Where do you launch your collections?

In my Beirut workshop, which is also the showroom for my local clients. I presented at Paris Fashion Week for a few years but I stopped because I wanted to pause and learn from my mistakes. I’m working on expanding my ready-to-wear range to 30 looks (earlier it was 20) and I may do Paris again next year.

Where can we find Lara Khoury designs?

My showroom in Gemmayze has my full range and soon, it will be available in Piaff Boutique’s pop-up shop in Beirut. Symphony in Dubai and Maison BO-M in KSA as well as a personal shopper in Kuwait and Not Just A Label’s (NJAL) online store stock my collections. NJAL has niche customers from all over the world who buy some of my most daring pieces that are hard to sell elsewhere.

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