The dynamic duo George Azzi and Assaad Osta are putting their mark on the fashion world with their couture label Azzi & Osta. They have imposed their signature vintage chic style on the Lebanese fashion scene and are conquering the world one gown at a time.
The first notes
The interest in fashion grew for both designers from an early age. George used to create outfits made of paper and cardboard that he presented to his classmates and family on fashion shows he organized at school. Assaad learned the craft from his mother. She used to sew her own dresses, and the long hours she would spend finishing an outfit with meticulous attention to details taught him to strive for perfection.
They both attended the three years fashion design program at Esmod, and distinguished themselves graduating with the Prize of the Jury for Assaad and the Prize of the President of the Jury for George. This landed them a two weeks internship at Elie Saab, which turned to a full time job.
During their two years working in Elie Saab’s design studio and atelier, they were exposed to volumes and structures, and had to explore the technique themselves in order to build the archives of the house which was newly venturing in this area. They experimented with larger shoulder and peplum style and deepened their knowledge of structures, setting the ground for what would become the signature style of the Azzi & Osta label. After their experience at Saab they ventured as freelancers each on their own. One common project brought them together as they decided to join forces. This collaboration made them realize their compatibility and convinced them to start their brand.
The duo goes crescendo
Azzi & Osta launched their first collection at the end of 2010 in the midst of an uncertain environment in the Middle East. Their opulent creations were well received and they started designing a collection each season along with bridal. Most of their designs are couture, with some capsule ready-to-wear pieces.
Clients can personalize the styles but Azzi & Osta ensure to infuse their identity in each piece. The house is engrained in the twenty first century, and it is not rare for orders to be completed entirely electronically, even fittings can be made at distance to finalize the outfit. When they were only starting their label, a dress that they had sent to a photographer in New York for a shooting was spotted by Tyra Banks.
Wonderful was their surprise when they found out the photographer wanted to keep their dress longer for this not so anonymous new client! Azzi & Osta styles have since caught the eye of celebrities across the planet; Nadine Labaki, Kesha, Aiswhara Rai or Giuliana Rancic. The label has grown and the designers have established their showroom and atelier in Tabaris, Beirut. They will soon place designs in selected boutiques in Dubai.
A signature style
The designers’ showroom is a window on their vintage style revisited with a modern conceptual approach. Among a couture box, multicolored candies and miniature roses Azzi & Osta dresses are twirling on their hangers. Their fetish fabrics are brocades, faille, gazar, tulle or crêpe, sprinkled with delicately placed details of lace and embroideries and often distinguished with color blocking.
They master structured volumes, adding layered peplum to beautiful gowns, carefully crafting a magnificent tulip dress, and pairing modern cropped tops with impressive petticoat style skirts. The outfits are designed and tailored in their Beirut atelier, and embroideries are gracefully applied both locally and in India.
The designers are currently working on their fall winter 2016/17 collection which they revealed has a royal touch to it, in a neutral palette of black, whites enriched by gold and silver and applied pearls. Another elegantly walked step on their road to new successes.
Kamsyn, June 2016
Article originally published in Kamsyn – June 27, 2016