On the catwalk with Egyptian stylist Abdelhak
Last Wednesday, the usually impassive face of the giant Buddha seated cross-legged in the center of Buddha Bar suddenly brightened: 6 slender and gracious models, wrapped in exquisite cocktail dresses designed by the young Egyptian stylist Abdelhak paced in front of him, greatly troubling his meditation. This collection, which has been presented twice before at the Cairo Opera House and at the French Embassy, is the work of a soon-to-be respected name in the fashion industry: Abdelhak Haute-Couture.
Oozing elegance and glamor, the models wore dark wigs resembling haircuts from the 20s and dangerously high heels at the bottom of unending legs, which were highlighted by dark tights or fishnet stockings. However, their faces were quite disturbing. Covered by light skin-colored tights that washed away most of their features, the women looked like wax dolls whose faces would melt if exposed to a flame. “I was inspired by the motionless mannequins that are exposed in shop windows with their blank faces,” explained the couturier, hopping continuously. Agitated, he added, “this is the spirit of couture, we work on a still base on which we develop creations. That’s why I decided to remove the models’ features.” Indeed, the parade of sumptuous clothes grasped everyone’s attention and the models’ mere existence was soon forgotten.
One could not help but think about the image of hangars parading throughout the catwalk with rich garments, swirling with wild silk, tulle and satin hanging from them. The first model aptly cut a passage through the dense crowd, wearing a black dress with a long tail that dragged on the ground. While one porcelain white shoulder was bare, the other was elegantly draped with a black gauze strap. The stylist decorated the simple short black dress in several ways, with the front covered by colorful fake stones, countless pearl necklaces and luminous trails of glitter.
Less morbid, yet still impressively colorful, Abdelhak wrapped one of the models in a simple gray bustier covered by a large flower in red taffetas. “I played with the various fabrics, and I bent their will until the flowery shape satisfied me,” said Abdelhak as his hands mimicked the rustling of the fabric. Other dresses were decorated with monumental flowers blooming on the front and most garments had a light mantle of silk or fishnet placed on the shoulders.
The parade of black and relatively morbid outfits was suddenly brightened by the apparition of a model, rather unstable in her skyrocketing-high laced shoes, wearing a multi-layer white tutu in gauze. The fluffy explosion, instead of starting at the waist, began right under the chest in a kind of exaggerated princess cut and the satin bra above the white tutu was classy with its shiny and broad straps. In her left hand, the model held an exact copy of herself in miniature, a doll dressed in the same tutu, which made for a creepy combination. With his last model, Abdelhak pushed the concept of the tutu even further, as an elegant widow descended the hazardous stairs, her eyes closed. He dressed her with a discreet bustier and an avalanche of black tulle, that was skillfully highlighted by a golden brim that contrasted with the wavy movement of the fabric. The same tutu was displayed on her slender waist and fell on her legs asymmetrically.
The catwalk ended with the traditional procession of the models, accompanied by Abdelhak, who professionally posed for the many photographers crouching at the Buddha’s relaxed toes.
Abdelhak-Haute Couture : 010 70 03 910