Lebanese designer Rabih Kayrouz held a very intimate show today, inviting a scaled back (by two-thirds) group of press and buyers to view his Fall 2015 offering at his “home,” the Left Bank atelier tucked behind a pretty courtyard in Saint Germain. What Kayrouz showcased was possibly some of his best work.
Kayrouz started the show by coming out onto the catwalk and greeting his guests, explaining that in the Arab world, when you invite someone into your home, you first welcome them. He then stepped aside to let his first looks enter: soft cream separates cut to showcase delicate volume and vents. These “gills” appeared throughout, either featured on sleeves, scattered across skirts, or down the sides of a coffee-colored dress. They hinted at movement—a controlled passageway from the outside to the inside—and gave life to otherwise toned back looks. When Kayrouz featured color, he chose deep navy blues and cobalt, the latter appearing in a striking lightning bolt pattern on a beautiful white dress with front panel pockets. Oversized polka dots were featured on blouses in shocking pink, but upon closer inspection the circles were not entirely static; this dynamic mark was echoed with the use of hand-painted marbles (of various sizes) placed as buttons on shirts or sewn with systematic disorder to the front of an ivory shift dress.
It was all very subtle, elegant, and harmonious—this, the new Oriental.