Born in 1956 into a family of tailors, Abed Mahfouz’s passion for fashion artistry started at a young age. His youth was spent in the Lebanese city of Beirut, often referred to as the Paris of the Middle East and although he sketched his first couture collection in 1990, it wasn’t until 1999 that he showcased his gowns with a fashion show. Since then, Abed Mahfouz has become renowned for his glamorous, feminine and sensual designs and has dressed the likes of Selena Gomez, Olivia Palmero, Mena Suvari, Camille Belle and Guiliana Rancic.
We recently spoke to the man himself about his latest collection, Floating Blossom which combines Beirut allure with Parisian romance.
WW: What was the inspiration behind this collection?
The Floating Blossom collection was a floral concept of blossoming spring flowers, petals and leaves, each rendered delicately onto the dresses. The transparency of the fabric represents the flowing fragrance of the growing flowers which has been translated onto the feminine body, while exaggerating the details of the shape of the flowers and the leaves in nature. In turn, the collection portrays different breeds of flowers making the gowns flourish into life.
I am involved in each one of them and I consider them all masterpieces. My personal favourite is the Long Aqua-Blue Transparent A-line Dress. Visually, it fits like an extension of the body.WW: What’s your favourite piece in the collection and why?
WW: Describe the Abed Mahfouz bride.
The ultimate Abed Mahfouz bride is a trendy and elegant, yet daring woman.
WW: Describe the collection in three words.
Blossoming, elegant, spring
WW: What were the key materials used in this collection?
The beading was celebrated by a combination of sequins, crystals and silver sparkles to add a charming touch and pearls to imitate the freshness of the flowers and leaves during spring.
WW: How has your Lebanese heritage influenced your designs?
Lebanese designers are known to be the stars of the red carpet. Being Lebanese has empowered me to internationally reach a wider audience, especially with the celebrities. The Lebanese heritage is shown in the craftsmanship and the elegance of the piece.
WW: What are some of the biggest emerging bridal trends in Lebanon at the moment?
Lebanese weddings are always large in scale, so the bride is no doubt the spotlight of the event – the bigger the dress, the better. However, nowadays the bride is thinking more of her own comfort, so the trend is to be simple but elegant and daring.
WW: You manage to create collections that balance out romance, glamour and sensuality. Is this something you strive to do, or is it just something that comes naturally?
An inspiration can be derived from different things at different times: music, textures, cultures, nature, and muses… So this balance is most definitely my natural magnetism to romance, glamour and elegance.
WW: What’s the most important thing a bride should remember on her wedding day?
To enjoy herself first and be comfortable and glowing in what she chose to wear. This is her day after all!
WW: How does a bride know when she’s picked the right dress?
It is definitely a certain glow in her eyes once she has tried it on.
WW: Lebanese weddings are always spectacular. What’s your favourite part of a wedding and why?
My favourite part in any Lebanese wedding is to look at the reaction of the audience once the bride appears glowing in her gown.