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The Synergy of Design and Fashion: Nature Reshaped

ELLE takes fashion beyond the runway to Egypt's Hot Spots

Organic architecture by Egyptian Architect Shahira Fahmy at Lucida Egypt. Image courtesy Nour El Refai for Lucida

As creative components invariably influence and complement each other, ELLE showcases exceptional fashion, accessories, and interiors, fostering a synergy in design.

Layered interiors set the stage for Lucida, one of Cairo’s latest restaurants featuring organic shapes. Designed by Egyptian architect Shahira Fahmy the architectural forms seamlessly blend with elements of fashion, art, and décor.

THE LUCIDA

Nestled within the design-focused Arkan Plaza in West Cairo, renowned for its innovative culinary offerings, Lucida is spearheaded by restaurateurs Ahmed Beltagy and Fady Iskander.

Image courtesy Nour El Refai.

Architect and actress Shahira Fahmy collaborated with numerous Egyptian artisans on the project. Cairo’s Fel Warsha Studio crafted the undulating palm-leaf structure that serves as the centerpiece of the space. Flowing seamlessly between the dining room, bar, lounge, and roof terrace, the structure imbues the atmosphere with an organic ambiance.

Image courtesy Nour El Refai

The interior and exterior spaces are characterized by natural earthy tones, ranging from rusty burgundy to a rosy palette. Palm leaf structures and organic metal shapes are adorned with alabaster details, reflecting the architectural elements in every dimension.

Image courtesy Nour El Refai

AHMED SAEDI

Renowned as one of Egypt’s leading haute couture and ready-to-wear designers, Ahmed Saedi specializes in presenting the modern warrior woman, blending unconventional fabrics, designs, and cuts. Drawing inspiration from the distinctive shapes of Lucida, Saedi endeavors to reshape and allow for reorganization, taking cues from the intricate designs found in Egyptian palms.

Image courtesy Ahmed Saedi

BOTTEGA VENETA

Emphasizing craftsmanship and infusing a narrative of travel into each Bottega Veneta look, Matthieu Blazy has crafted an artistic raffia dress as an homage to nature. Conceptualizing a virtual journey around the globe with his Spring/Summer 2024 collection, Blazy invites clients to embark on a sartorial adventure.

Image courtesy Bottega Veneta

HERMÈS

A color reminiscent of the  exquisite wine, “Rouge H” defines the rich burgundy hue. Sensual, contemporary silhouettes glide through tall grasses amidst sand dunes for the Hermès Spring/Summer 2024 show, celebrating the lightness and agility of forms, awakening all the senses.

Image courtesy  Hermès

GUCCI

Introducing a fresh hue of red, ‘Ancora Red‘ emerges as the new dark shade for the Spring/Summer 2024 season. Making his debut for Gucci, Sabato de Sarno unveils this new ‘it’ color. In a contemporary mini silhouette, this ensemble embodies the modern avenues of feminine expression, epitomizing the allure of this nuanced color shade.

Image courtesy Gucci

LOEWE

Draped in a manner echoing the amorphic shapes of Lucida, this ensemble accentuates the metal structures of the venue, making it ideal for a sensual soirée. JW Anderson, renowned for his appreciation of arts and crafts  at Loewe approaches his designs with a keen eye for three-dimensional form. Moreover, the Loewe Foundation also initiated the Craft Prize initiative, aimed at recognizing and supporting international artisans of all ages and genders who exhibit exceptional skill in creating objects of superior aesthetic value.

Image courtesy Loewe

DON TANANI

Don Tanani represents design excellence in Egypt, epitomizing the highest level of expression with handcrafted organic shapes. Inspired by ancient Egyptian design, it envisions a modern lifestyle rooted in cultural heritage. Founded with a passion for Egypt’s rich legacy, Don Tanani seeks to bridge the gap between tradition and modernity through unique, innovative, and sustainable creations. At its core lies a profound appreciation for Egyptian history, art, and philosophy. Conceptualized by visionary leader Lina Alorabi, Don Tanani is dedicated to exploring and unveiling the hidden treasures of Egyptian design.

“The Maat Wings” console at Arab Design Now exhibition in Doha. Closed edition collection ‘Duality’ designed by the brilliant Lina Alorabi Studio. Image courtesy Don Tanani.
Image courtesy Don Tanani.

VITRA

The sculptural design of the Vitra Wiggle Side Chair makes it a captivating piece, while the Wiggle Stool evokes the essence of traditional African stools. Part of Frank Gehry‘s 1972 furniture series ‘Easy Edges,’ the Wiggle Side Chair introduces a new aesthetic dimension to the everyday material of cardboard. Not only is this sculptural chair remarkably comfortable, but it also boasts strength and durability.

Image courtesy Vitra

OMAR CHAKIL

French-Egyptian-Lebanese creative Omar Chakil focuses on raw Egyptian alabaster, which he refers to as Pharaonic Alabaster, distinguishing it from other types of onyx marbles. Using this emblematic Egyptian mineral, Omar creates contemporary objects that serve as bridges between past and present, craftsmanship and design, earthly and ethereal, East and West. His innovative approach has made his mark in Egypt, New York, Paris, and the Middle East. Recently, he unveiled a series of hand-carved tables and translucent accessories.

Image courtesy Billy Doss

Besides exhibitions at Design Doha Biennal 2024, Omar Chakil´s work is seen at the Le Lab Atelier in Cairo at the Walk of Cairo.

Image courtesy Billy Doss

TSHAKI STUDIO

Also showcased at the Le Lab Atelier in Cairo is Tshaki Studio, the multidisciplinary architecture and design studio founded by Lebanese-Polish sisters Tessa Tara El Sakh. Operating from Venice and Beirut, the sisters seamlessly blend their dual backgrounds to craft harmonious and synergistic designs across a spectrum of artistic disciplines. Their portfolio spans from small-scale architecture and urban interventions to public installations, commercial and residential interior design, and collectible objects.

Collaborating with creatives from diverse cultures, Tshaki Studio fosters a dynamic dialogue of cross-cultural exchange that promotes both craftsmanship and innovation. Their recent experiments with Venetian glassblowers resulted in a captivating range of extraterrestrial formations, juxtaposing metal waste with glass. The achieved lava-stone textures allow light to filter through the translucent glass-metal material, evoking the textures of excavated eroded artifacts.

Inspired by the rich history of glassblowing, from ancient Phoenician relics to modern production sites in Egypt and Syria, the duo’s work resonates with philanthropy and social consciousness. Their exhibitions in Beirut, Venice, Paris, New York, Milan, London, and Dubai captivate audiences worldwide.

Image courtesy Lorenzo Basadonna Scarpa
Image courtesy Lorenzo Basadonna Scarpa

ABRACADABRA

Inspired by the irregular sand dunes, AbraCadabra, an Egyptian brand founded by Yassmin Nader, encapsulates the essence of achieving harmony with nature while simultaneously challenging it. Their line ‘Foam‘ blends ancient art forms with cutting-edge practices and bold shapes to provoke a sense of wonder. Constantly evolving in design, methodologies, and vision, AbraCadabra strives to create a natural and unique aesthetic.

Envisioned as a platform to scout, inspire, incubate, and accelerate the creations of others, AbraCadabra has emerged as one of the leading contemporary ceramic brands, contributing to the new wave of the culinary scene.

Image courtesy Abra Cadabra.
Image courtesy Abra Cadabra.

JIL SANDER

Lucie and Luke Meier have elevated Jil Sander to new heights of sophistication with their artisanal approach to minimalist design. The brand’s accessories, inspired by nature and meticulously crafted using special handmade techniques, epitomize the essence of modern luxury.
“Woven Tote” Jil Sander

LORO PIANA

Inspired by Japanese geishas, the Izumi sandals epitomize slow luxury with a Zen touch. Crafted from the finest materials with a sustainable approach, Loro Piana focuses on creating long-lasting designs that make a statement in high-end fashion.

“Izumi” sandal Loro Piana

Creativity and design form an endless field, continually influencing each other on a global scale. For avid travelers, the world becomes an open canvas. In galleries and venues worldwide, unique and inspiring pieces await discovery and appreciation.

Discover more about Egyptian luxury brands here.

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