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Azzi & Osta Couture Fall 2020 is Here Despite Enormous Adversity

Azzi & Osta Couture Fall 2020

Rembrandt plays in the depth of black a golden chiaroscuro which complements velvet with velvet. Embroidery in golden threads lit with pearls are sown on an oversized jacket with large lapels, dropped shoulders, and puffed sleeves reminiscent of the ‘Queen of night’ tulips, a fairyland where petals, dragonflies, and pineapples coexist in harmony. This piece is accompanied by a black jumpsuit adorned with complementary patterns, ending with an imposing choker collar embroidered with crystals and baroque pearls. The whole is called “Rembrandt Gold.” Courtesy Azzi & Osta

The Azzi & Osta Couture Fall 2020 collection was well into the works when the world went into lockdown, forcing the Beirut couture house to shift dates and learn “new ways” to announce its collection. “We told ourselves that the silver living would be shooting it in our new location, which we had just moved into and were renovating,” the duo recalls. However, on August 4th, the Beirut blast destroyed the atelier, injured the team, and sent the collection unceremoniously into the trees of the yard.

Azzi & Osta Fall 2020

La Maison d’Orange is represented by an asymmetrical dress cut in an abundance of silk faille from the bright orange of the ‘Orange princess’ tulip, short from the front and long in the back in an impressive ball gown dominated by an oversized top embroidered with shimmering crystals in a cross pattern. Courtesy Azzi & Osta

Azzi & Osta Couture Fall 2020

A regal purple back train decorated with deep blue petals and embroidered branches and puff sleeves are offset with a contemporary bandeau haut. Courtesy Azzi & Osta

“The day that we were picking ourselves up from the ruins, we decided to temporarily set up the atelier at George’s home. Our machines and equipment were damaged,” recalls Osta. Hope re-appeared when the designers quickly learned that they were not alone. “The amount of worldwide support we received from our suppliers whom we consider as partners helped put things together,” they share. “Suppliers offered us replacement free of charge or discounted. A purple hat you see in the shoot was customized for us by a New York designer Genevieve Foddy. When she saw the explosion, she offered a free replacement and with lots of love. The same was the case with lots of our local suppliers. Many saw how we were repeating orders already made and they didn’t charge us for the repeats.”

Azzi & Osta Couture Fall 2020

The ribbon bow belt plays the role of a red thread borrowed, out of admiration, from the trompe-l’oeil of 17th-century painter Samuel Van Hoogstraten. Courtesy Azzi & Osta

Azzi & Osta Couture Fall 2020

The blues in the collection are unmissable: ‘Porcelain blue’ is embodied in a long dress with a ball petticoat and inlay of rigid hand-painted petals. Courtesy Azzi & Osta

With electricians and carpenters working overnight, a temporary atelier working at partial capacity was running within ten days. Some looks were redone, some were canceled, and some were shot with the remnants of the explosion. “You cannot see all this come to life and not have the willingness and motivation to present everything that you love and with so much passion,” they declare. “The demand is there; we are rebuilding and clients shouldn’t worry about their orders. We adapted our calendars, our means of transportation is the same, and we are setting out a calendar of trunk shows.” The resulting collection, featured here, invites a journey to Amsterdam and its labyrinth of canals. The escape begins at the tulip with its vivid colors, frills, and extends to a palette of colorful fields, in an explosive celebration of life and a bright future that surely awaits.

Azzi & Osta Couture Fall 2020

‘North Sea’ the deep blue of the collection, an ultramarine jumpsuit embroidered with indigo tulips, extended by a cape lined with a stream of frilly blue tulle imitating the freedom of crushing waves. Courtesy Azzi & Osta

Azzi & Osta Couture Fall 2020

The ‘Gold dust,’ wedding dress, with bare shoulders, pointed neckline, puffed Juliette sleeves, draped diagonally over the bust and waist, rain of tulips veined with light gold on ivory silk, embroidery of threads and gold chains concentrated on the corset then further scattered, accompanying a slow fall of petals on the princess skirt to the hem. Courtesy Azzi & Osta

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