Evolving Trends and Fashion in Egypt with Jean Fares
EVOLVING FASHION TRENDS IN EGYPT Attention Rachelle Gavello, Arizona UniversityArizona University Q1: What types of inspirations influence yourdesigns? Creativity is an on-going process, a way of living. We are all subject to the Influence of the environment where we live. It’s what my eyes see, my ears hear , my nose smells, my soul feels… It’s all together melted through a certain mood that leads to creativity and which is, by the end of day, a gift from God. Nature and Music maybe are the most important resources that influence me to influence my designs. Wherever I’m, [Nature]Green and Colorful flowers and Music must embrace me, even my office is surrounded witha small garden that mainly comprises aged trees like Olive-100-year-old. I take good care ofit while my favorite Music of Mozart… Yanni, Voices like Shirley Bassey, Barbara Streisand,Alessandro Safina… just put me in a mood for Creativity. I feel how Life is beautiful despitewhat is happening round me i.e. The drastic insane political, social and Human situation thatmy country is going through.Arizona University Q2: Do you have a specific audience that you aretrying to sell your products to? Jean Fares Couture targets the woman in what she really represents. We see her just a distinguishably elegant, powerful Lady empowered with an extreme refined taste. We do purchase her everywhere. Despite its location-base in Lebanon, Jean Fares Couture, live a Business Fashion in a world with no boundaries. Established in the heart of the ME, our direct audience for the High Couture Line andfor our forthcoming Haute-a-porter (ready to wear high end) are mainly the Arabian Gulf (KSA,Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, UAE…) and the rest of the Arab World (Egypt, Jordan… includingLebanon). Actually, we particular a specific audience that is the Woman worldwide. Like Musicor Painting, Fashion is an international language ,with an accent of beauty, that could can touch[Human Being’s] woman’s soul!Our international appearance started in Paris then in USA i.e. Miami, Houston, Washington DC,Palm Beach and with an outstanding success in New York Couture Fashion week, 2008.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Bkz_uDTkpQ&feature=relatedhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/bnittoli/2269511119/http://en.epochtimes.com/news/8-3-6/66973.htmlFor further details, please visit Jean Fares Bio (PDF GFX format, Attached)
Arizona University Q3: How do you feel fashion is evolving in Egyptright now? Comparing to the great achievements of the People of Ancient Egypt in History i.e. [The unrevealed secret of] Pyramids, Luxor and Alexandria, trends fashion in Egypt of Today unfortunately do not match with what the People of Egypt of Ancient Time has given, created and achieved for Egypt. The difference is widely projected startingfrom walking in Cairo’s streets a few km far from the Great Pyramids! Sometimes, I just wonderwhere those People of Egypt are? What happened to this [Ancient] City i.e. Cairo, Alexandria…?It saddens me when I witness a drastic decrease in Arts being the reflection of the People’s souland spirit. With a population that is more than 75 millions, the existence of very few fashiondesigners in Egypt is neither right nor balanced. Fashion, like any Art, cannot be consideredas evolved in Egypt of Today whose population sink in to an unconceivable poverty, illiteracyand unemployment. It’s a chain. It’s all in one. It’s about a general mood where Government’sand people’s aspiration must meet. Lebanon is not the perfect place to be. However, the generalatmosphere of Freedom of the multicultural city of Beirut --that is unique amidst its conservativeArab World-- Beirut could provide a convenient umbrella for Creative to explore their insights.And that’s what explains, in fact, the reason why in Lebanon are many renowned FashionDesigners whose names spread over the region as well as the World and this is why the high classsociety of Egypt targets Europe or Lebanon to shop for their weddings and special occasions.Arizona University Q4: As far as everyday wear, do you feel that Egyptshould establish a traditional dress? I would encourage this kind of Egyptian vests with embroidery http://www.pyramidimports.com/artsandcrafts/gal201.htm or http://www. pyramidimports.com/artsandcrafts/gal200.htm over a tight-sexy-Jeans or a long- stylish-skirt of Viscose or Linen. It will look nice for Youth!
Bringing traditional to modern could give a wonderful combination. In my recent collections(Living… Eco and Living… Energy) for e.g. the spirit of some of my designs and looks i.e.the short gold/silver and the Green Gowns (below) were originally inspired from the Spirit ofEgypt’s Ancient time which I consider it unbeatable:Many of Cleopatra’s gowns were similar to a silksleeveless sari with a deep v-neck sleevelessgown of pleated silk, with a gold trimmed pleatedtissue silk.
“Egyptian clothing styles did not change much throughout ancient times. Clothes were usuallymade of linens ranging from coarse to fine texture. During the Old and Middle kingdoms, menusually wore a short skirt called a kilt. Women wore a straight fitting dress held up by straps.The wealthy men wore pleated kilts, and the older men wore a longer kilt. When doing hardwork, men wore a loin cloth, and women wore a short skirt. Children usually ran around nudeduring the summer months, while in the winter, wraps and cloaks were worn. Noblewomensometimes wore beaded dresses.” http://220.127.116.11/search?q=cache:LaElowJvGj0J:www2.sptimes.com/Egypt/EgyptCredit.4.2.html+CLOTHING+OF+ANCIENT+EGYPT&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=8&gl=qaTraditional dress for Everyday wear in Egypt today? With Islamism, the Islamic look becomesthe traditional ready to wear in Egypt: very conservative long dresses or skirts (pens notrecommended) with a pro-white-simple Hijab or veil. For Egypt to start re-innovating atraditional dress Today, means that the Egyptian society is ready to go back to its fascinatingroots and accept its own [Ancient] Style. This from one hand, from the other hand, features, lookand body-svelte-shapes of the Ancient Egypt cannot be neglected as they are an inseparable partof the costume and accessories as well.“The Fayum Portraits: Greek and Roman painting style, encaustic (εγκαυστική) (from enkaio“to burn-in”) on wood, part of the Egyptian culture (funeral portraits). They show the facesof the inhabitants of ancient Egypt at a period influenced by Greeks and Romans. The Fayumportraits are the best preserved paintings of Antiquity. Some of these produced by Greekswho worked in Egypt, part of the Greek population that settled in cities like Alexandria, whenEgypt was ruled by Greek kings after the peaceful conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great.The portraits, many from Fayum, are from a period when Romans followed the Greeks asrulers and their influence is shown (for example Roman fashion). Examples were found invarious Necropolises: in Memphis (Saqqara), Philadelphia (Er-Rubayat and ‘Kerke’), Arsinoe(Hawara), Antinoopolis, Panopolis (Akhmim), Marina el-Alamein, Thebes and el-Hiba(Ankyronpolis) and other places.” For the left image: (Diogenes the flute player, a Jew?) from Portrait-Painting in Ancient Egypt.” by Amelia Ann Blanford Edwards. Diogenes, he was apparently a professional musician. The hair is very thick and curly, and the features are distinctly Jewish in type. That he should be a Jew would be quite in accordance with his profession.
So yes, in my point view, evolving trends and fashion better in Egypt of Today, requires thatthe fascinating Style of Ancient Egypt revives at the Egyptians’ memory first so they could askfor it… with Passion. It is a must-do with Pride! More over, the Ancient Egypt style, trendsand fashion should at the core-programs of the Designs colleges and Universities of/in theArabic speaking countries. Ignoring or not educating it does not delete it. It’s there… it shouldbe recognized to the People of Egypt. Education, Media and Marketing can undoubtedly helpreviving and evolving better trends and fashion in Egypt. Offering the right environment,talented-youth could create and innovate. Today, before Egypt some opportunities that Egyptand the world could grab:1 – The cotton of Egypt which is relatively cheaper than the European.2 – The still unbeatable impact of TV on viewers/consumers’ mind. With 75 millions illiterate inthe Arab World (as per ESCWA 2007 report), TV remains the number one-only tool that affectsits viewers means consumers.3 – In the New Media era, Internet and online shopping that are, in fact, making of the Globe asmall village, could, more or less, help evolving trends and fashion in the Arab World includingEgypt in a better way.Arizona University Q5: Are there any restrictions to what you can andcannot design?... As Jean Fares Couture’s slogan well says about me: I’m “Freed to love… Committed to Passion”! My flowing gowns say much about it i.e.:
My creation lives with no borders. What I create is what I have Passion for it; it’s our “natural”spirit that we were born and raised with, shaped with knowledge, continuous studies andresearch. Some adjustments (for conservative society) could and must be done if the changesare good on my client and that they do not ruin the core idea of my gown. If would so, wesuggest our clients some other alternatives that could suit their needs. Since we do business thatis simultaneously related to Creativity and Market, we are committed to please our clients andto preserve our style equally. That’s what makes us.Conservative Designers from conservative societies put their restrictions on their designs.. Forsuch conservative (with restrictions) designs, there is a clientele that is different than ours.Although our clientele is mainly located in the Arabian Gulf. I can say that our clientele fromKSA, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar appreciate our refined quasi “non” conservative style. Againwith some very few adjustments.Arizona University Q6: What is the message you are trying to portraywith your designs? Distinguish elegance ,at all times, is our direct message that is reflected on our gowns. Acknowledging the threats that encounter every body’s life on Earth-planet i.e. Climate Change, poverty, illiteracy, water’s reticence preserving our lovely historical sites in the Arabic speaking countries, put our firm before its social responsibilities. Jean FaresCouture is being involved into several non-profit events i.e. RMF: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAJnmafnbXsThe theme of our fashion seasons, we choose it with high care. We try to spread the word…to make people think about what is threatening our very existence and encourage a friendlyliving with the Beauty of the Planet i.e. the themes of my last 2 fashion shows: living… Ecoand Living… Energy. For further details please visit our Media room www.jeanfarescouture.com. The theme of our next season/fashion show is already set. Finding the accurate theme isnot something easy at our firm. It’s the result of great readings and research. We choose hardthreats that-- if not taken seriously-- the Human very existence will have to facing dangerousfuture. Hopefully not. This is why, we, at Jean Fares Couture, through pure creativity with noboundaries, try to help raising awareness through addressing serious causes. Who said thatCreativity has no Responsibility? We have created it, with pride, in the Heart of Fashion andBeauty, from the heart of the Arabic Middle East to the Globe. We promote Hope, Peace, Love,Human’s Development and Creativity. We promote the values of God. And that confirms ourstrength to make our creativity flow... “And the Creation continues”!
Arizona University Q7: Do you think that the Ancient Egyptian civilizations have had a large impact on style? If so how? Starts with photos just below: Superb photos of the pyramids. Attack Machine. Photo is from 1943.Ancient Egypt Under Rome and Byzantium The Legendary lighthouse that was one of the sevenAlexandria founded in 331 BCE. wonders of the World.“With the establishment of Roman rule by Emperor Augustus in 30 BCE., more than sixcenturies of Roman and Byzantine control began. Ancient Egypt again became the provinceof an empire, as it had been under the Persians and briefly under Alexander.Ancient Egypt under Rome and Byzantium brought about many changes for the entireregion.” “In ancient Egypt, the great city of Alexandria represented a golden era of education,understanding and knowledge. The ancient city, in its most fundamental form, represented newand profound ideas, a harmonizing of many diverse cultures, and a synthesis of ancient wisdom
and modern ways. All of these attributes were manifested during a time of great transition inthe ancient world. As our modern world encounters its own time of great transition, the spiritof the greatest city of the ancient world is once again needed”.So as style in fashion, accessories, makeup and hair…, Egypt had had certainly an inevitableinfluence. Located on the Mediterranean Sea, Egypt must had an influence on 21 modernstates that have a coastline on the Mediterranean Sea from Europe, Asia to Africa. As a simpleexample, Linen that is my favorite material for casual wear, we re-saw it, if I remember well,round late 80’s whereas [white] Linen was one of main materials of Ancient Egypt clothing.And this amazing! Anyway, the photos that reflects the Style of Ancient Egypt and which wetried to collect for you may answer better your question:
Arizona University Q8: What do you think establishes culturalidentity? Many factors amazingly fuse to create a cultural identity. It starts from Home where the result of our parents’education [to us] is nothing but a natural transition of their education in their childhood and so on. Roots could never disappear. It’s always there. I remember in my childhood, my father, who is an ambitious self-made-man, was an employee with limited salary. At one of the occasions, he could not buynew clothing for the 3 of us (my 2 sisters and I). My mother who used to play the role ofexplaining to us the financial situation of my father, had to answer our queries:“Mama, why aren’t we getting new cloth like others. Are we poor?” My youngest sisterasked. “The poor is whose mind is poor”, my mother literally said. However, my mother’sanswer at that moment was not fulfilling our dream of getting new cloth!As far as creativity is concerned, my parents were involved in to fashion and trends as well.In her adulthood, my mother used to run Art dept. of the renowned “Bafga” company, arefined Chocolate factory that used to exist in Beirut. My father started his profession withfashion material. He used to be an employee at the biggest woman-material-shops at thattime in Beirut i.e. Chirinian, Sax, La Sirene… before he established his own-Merveille-shops by 1974. Actually, the creativity [germ] that I have or got influenced/transmitted bymy parents, I think, did not influence only me as a fashion designer, but my 2 sisters aswell. My eldest sister is a painter, graduated from ALBA university. She is handling theAccessories dept. at the firm. My other youngest sister is a Media person with 19 years ofexperience. She is handling the Public Relations & Communication dept. at the firm.So this is all to say that over years, the 3 of us equally realized how the set-of-valuesand the education of my Art-Loving-parents have shaped the core of our identity fromchildhood. Obviously, everyone’s life experience produces certain differences but thatwhose resources remain, in my opinion, from the same core of identity.//END//