Rabih Kayrouz is something of an anomaly amongst his regional designer colleagues. Mention “Lebanese designer” and one will draw forth visuals of red carpet, embellished va-va-voom dresses. But Kayrouz eschews the flash and prefers to dress his woman for herself first, others second.
Duly, he first cloaks his confident muse in steadfast fabrics: crepe de chine and crisp cotton; next, rather than dolly her up in chi-chi embellishments, he concentrates on the cut. Long, lean silhouettes are expertly tailored to the extent that a pair of humble black trousers assume the fluid state of an orchestra conductor. Then, Kayrouz selects his palette, and it is controlled: black, ivory, jade. But lest you wonder whether he is intimidated by color, he then produces several looks featuring multi-hued stripes of various widths, and they cut through the silhouette like the up-and-downward bow of a violin. But like the composition of a concerto, the third movement is all drama: full, midnight black skirts are sliced to feature oversized handkerchief pleats and daring low V-necks; tuxedo shirts with balloon sleeves; and fitted jackets.