Supporting young, regional designers, Vogue Arabia partnered with Souraya Chalhoub during Spring 2019 ready-to-wear fashion week to co-host a seated dinner with a fashion show in Paris. The downtown apartment set a stately and elegant scene for the soirée, co-hosted with Vogue Arabia editor-in-chief Manuel Arnaut. Dressed in a red corset and detachable tulle skirt, and wearing her ebony hair in a high braided ponytail, Chalhoub, along with Arnaut, welcomed guests including Princess Noor Pahlavi, Cindy Bruna, Patricia Field, Nicky Hilton, Devon Windsor, Mohammed Al Turki, and Vogue Arabia publisher Shashi Menon, Vogue Spain editor-in-Chief Eugenia de la Torriente, Vogue Mexico editor-in-chief Karla Martinez de Salas, Vogue US editor Rickie de Sole, and Olivia Palermo. While enjoying canapés, guests were treated to a burlesque dance by performer Betsy Rose. They then took their seats in rooms lit by a soft glow from crystal chandeliers for a delicious culinary dinner of salmon gravlax with crushed potato and raspberry vinaigrette, roasted seabream with glazed vegetables, and chocolate fondant with vanilla cream for dessert.
During the dinner, Chalhoub treated guests to a showcase of her third collection. While the designer refers to her eveningwear as accessible—and it is—the fit of the clothes matches any demi-couture offering. A perfectionist, Chalhoub oversees the entire made in Lebanon production herself, while she designs the pieces in London. For this showcase, she featured a series of dresses with sparkling and richly textured accents that were destined for a jet-setting ingenue with an international calendar of high-profile events. These are dresses in easy-to-pack and wear materials like ostrich feathers, full-fringe, and taffeta. The clothes are not restricting but rather are intended for a night of dancing—as proven by influencers, Lana El Sahely, and model Jasmine Sanders all dressed in Souraya World for the occasion. One dress with a circle skirt and off-the-shoulder puff sleeves was particularly feminine and complementary to the décolleté as was a sequin tribal floor-length dress. For those looking for a more modest while nonetheless a bonafide statement-making piece, try the balloon-sleeve chemise. Chalhoub understands innately the it girl she is speaking to, for she is one herself. Beautiful, enigmatic, and worldly.