LARA KHOURY

...I have never agreed more with the phrase, ‘faith can move mountains’.

Lara Khoury is a 26 year old Lebanese designer based in Beirut. After graduating from ESMOD Paris in 2006, and working with Elie Saab in 2007, she became one of the first designers to showcase their collections under a brand new concept, the Starch Foundation, created by her mentor, Lebanese designer Rabih Kayrouz. Starch, run and co-founded by Tala Hajjar, is famous for promoting young designers in Beirut. Lara was lucky enough to be part of the first Starch generation in 2008. The experience gave her enough confidence and sped up her maturity as a designer, which enabled her to launch her own brand and open a private showroom in the center of Beirut in March 2010.

Her work thrives on the distortion of the feminine body. The creation of new curves in the feminine silhouette is what drives Lara to create and imagine new forms and volumes. Most of her collections showcase distortion as a central theme. Other sensitive topics also inspire the designer. Her Autumn 2010 collection, coinciding with the opening of her showroom, tackled the issue of Global Warming. Through her collection, Lara attempted to address the extent of its impact on every facet of our daily lives. Furthermore, the collection attempted to take global warming to its literal, extreme sense: taken literally, global warming means that people will no longer have use for winter clothes. They loose their function of keeping us warm, because the climate will ultimately be in charge of that. The Autumn 2010 collection, retains the wintery facade of knitting, but it's nothing more than that, a facade. The fibers that once protected against the cold are replaced by a mix of light, summery fabric ribbons. There are traces of wool, widely knotted, thereby losing its function for protecting against the cold.

Today, Lara Khoury considers herself to be extremely lucky and honored to represent young Lebanese designers abroad: she was selected to represent Lebanon for the year 2011 in Marseille (France). This unique program, dubbed La Maison Mediterraneene des Metiers de la Mode, assists young creative entrepreneurs in the design industry in managing their businesses; ultimately giving every participant the tools to succeed on an international level.

Nothing inspires me like…
Volume. When I look at a garment, I think of the best way to size it up, distort it and accentuate its form. Being able to provide my clients with this unique experience is what ultimately drives my desire to create.

I hope…
I will get to that point in my career when I will randomly cross a stranger wearing my designs on the streets of Beirut! I haven’t experienced that yet as I work very closely with my clients therefore getting to know them in the process.

Cultural influences…
Are a big aspect of Lebanese society. Lebanon is a melting pot where many cultures come together, converge and confuse. Unfortunately, this wealthy aspect of Lebanon has been exploited far too much throughout the years. The history of Lebanon has been marked by many deadly conflicts that tore the very fabric of society. Being amongst the new post-war generation, I always dream of a better Lebanon, where people learn to accept each other and live together in harmony.

I got where I am...
With the guidance of my mentor Rabih Kayrouz, a beautiful and generous person whose principal target is to uplift the image of Lebanon on an international scale. I admire him for that. I also got where I am thanks to the patience of my big hearted father, who has helped me very much and had faith in me since day one.

Fashion can sometimes...
Seem so easy to people, such as doctors, engineers or financial advisers. But one thing’s for sure, building an identity, a style or a collection is as hard as building a medical career, a house or a business!

I scream when….
I’m stuck in traffic and I’m already 20 minutes late for an appointment! But what drives me over the edge is when in the process of commuting through hell, my radio decides it only wants to pick up white noise and static.

Money makes…
The world go round..which has proved to be one of the worst things about modern society.

I dance like…
A wooden doll, that’s why I never dance in public...when I’m sober!

Cake makes me…
Happy; as it should.

Creativity comes from…
The same place where unicorns are born. Or at least that’s what I like to believe.

I have never…
Agreed more with the phrase, ‘faith can move mountains’.

My dreams are…
Manifold. But the ones I have at night are my own business.

NYC/London/Paris/Milan…
Are the future locations of my flagship stores!

I'm a perfectionist…
When it comes to every aspect of my life. Except my kitchen.

I'm an emotional retard...
When it comes to rom-coms and other girly movies!