Lebanese talents have raised the name of Lebanon in fashion spheres for decades offering our small country a place of choice in fashion weeks and on red carpets across the world. With the LAU Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Design, the new generation of talents is getting ready to take the fashion world by storm.
The four years program, launched a couple of years ago, was designed in collaboration with Elie Saab and the London College of Fashion to bring a leading university’s standard of education to aspirant fashion designers. When students are not attending classes, they stick around in the lab perfecting their skills with state of the art material. Digital printers, silent sewing machines, heat pressing, everything is designed to encourage students to experiment with textiles and cuts. They learn to look beyond the ordinary, to be creators of fashion. They attend deconstruct, reconstruct workshops tearing down a classic suit jacket to turn it into an avant-guarde top, revisit menswear tailoring techniques for women’s wear and learn to create laminated fabric with plastic pills and a shopping bag. They are also encouraged to embrace the heritage of their region; traditional textiles, embroideries, but also crafts from outside the world of fashion or even pop culture. The legend Sabah inspired a student who spray-painted the back of an oversized denim jacket with the image of the singer.
Students can pick an area of focus such as Menswear or Swimwear and perfect it. They are prepared to be global players in leading fashion and design houses across the world or start their own businesses. Throughout the program they are exposed to the realities of the sector, collaborating with international industry professionals and on company projects. Jason Steel, who teaches students to challenge the status quo, has volunteered with Inaash to add a modern design touch to the traditional Palestinian embroideries. Students have brought a splash of color to Bensimon footwear, creating a capsule collection around the theme of crystals, which was exhibited in the brand’s Paris store. The patchwork collage sweater of a student, who engineered together 130 pieces caught the eyes of a leading retailer in Beirut. More collaborations are planned to infuse outlets across Lebanon with a young daring spirit, while offering a window for the up and coming talents to display their works. The top standard institution is a welcome boost to an industry, which benefits from a rich pool of young dynamic talents, in need of additional support structures to encourage them to thrive.