Emerging Beirut couture house Azzi & Osta creates conceptual volumes with a vintage soul. Originally printed in the December 2017 issue of Vogue Arabia.
While George Azzi and Assaad Osta enrolled in Esmod Beirut simultaneously in 2004, it wasn’t until they both joined Elie Saab as interning assistant designers that they noticed their friendship blossom, along with their talent. “We spent a year and a half there, understanding dressing for the female proportion and the importance of technique, and worked on a few successful design projects as freelancers. In 2010, we decided to take a leap of faith and launch our brand together,” says Osta. Seven years later, the duo finds that their shared vision and ideologies, love of similar aesthetics, and passion for history and the arts complement everything they do. “Other than having great taste in fashion, Assaad is also on top of the latest global trends,” says Azzi. “His decisiveness for finishing and attention to detail make every piece perfect.” Of Azzi, Assaad comments, “He is extremely organized, on top of things, detail-oriented, and passionate. His tailoring and structural techniques give him the ability to make the hardest design concepts a reality.”
The duo begins their design process from a basic object or concept – a piece of fabric, a color shade, a trip, or even a dinner conversation. Following nights of sketching and brainstorming, ideas evolve into formalwear dresses with conceptual and voluminous silhouettes. Crepe, double satin, and tulle fabrics are cut and crafted into sculptural dresses embellished with gold and silver embroidery, beads, and molded sequins. “The Golden Age of couture – the late 50s, early 60s – remains our favorite period in fashion. We reference the era in every piece we create.” Muses include Catherine Deneuve and Audrey Hepburn, while the design duo has already dressed Eva Longoria for the Cannes Film Festival and aspires to dress Marion Cotillard and Léa Seydoux. Today, along with stylists making red carpet requests, clients call from over the world. Notes Azzi, “What they have in common is their young spirit, trendy fashion sense, and taste for the traditional – but with a twist.” Azziandosta.com