ISTAR: QUEEN OF THE NIGHT
Couture - Spring/Summer 2018
For Summer 2018, maverick newcomer Jean-Louis Sabaji offers a hybrid of mythology and artistry.
His late father, Jean Sabaji, was one of the pillars of Lebanon's glitzy fashion scene during the 80s; the founding couturiers who saw Beirut become a fashion hub and paved the way for later generations of home-grown talent.
Jean-Louis, named after the great Scherrer, conveys the traditions he inherited with his own sensitivity for bold glamour, interpreting classical couture with an outlook all together contemporary.
Many of the petites mains he relies on today have been at the Sabaji ateliers long before Jean-Louis was born; savoir-faire invaluable and irreplaceable.
In this retrospective collection, Jean-Louis hails inspiration from the arresting aesthetics of a culture at the very dawn of civilization: Mesopotamia.
The collection channels Istar (Ishtar), the Mesopotamian goddess of sexual love and high priestess of political power, depicting the fantastical iconography around her in opulent adornment sparked by Babylonian astronomy - the earliest recorded.
The embroidery is masterly, giving center stage to mythical beasts and celestial beings (sphinxes symbolizing supremacy, mermen: creation, lions: courage, scorpions: fertility, serpents: immortality, eagles: morality); all gloriously winged - heaven-reaching for gods and goddesses and stretched southwards for demons and deities.
Emblematic of transcendence and victory, wings hover protectively round the season's muse, taking off as romantic bustles or soaring upwards into armor-like sleeves or morphing into cocooning capes.
A goddess of contradictory connotations wielding opposite forces - chaos and clarity, harmony and dissymmetry - Istar personifies Sabaji's woman this season: Divine yet Fiery.