Paris Fashion Week took place last week showcasing the finest couture designs from both talented newcomers as established names. Who better to showcase these designs than the crème de la crème of Hollywood during award season, which kicked off in January with the Golden Globes and the SAG awards. The Grammys and the Oscars are up next. For me award season in Hollywood is more about fashion than film and/or music. I look out for all the red carpet looks and hope to hear names of couture designers I have featured on The Fashion Orientalist. I was glad to see singer Mary J Blige rocking a gown by Lebanese designer Jean Louis Sabaji at the SAG Awards. A gorgeous one shoulder gown in black with white details from his Summer Spring 2018 couture collection.
The collection named IŠTAR: QUEEN OF THE NIGHT channels Ištar (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.
Jean Louis Sabaji’s Spring Summer collection exists of impressive gowns, each piece worthy of a red carpet appearance. The looks are powerful, fierce. Most silhouettes are sleek and figure-hugging. The goddess Ištar is often shown with wings, which is why the designer chose to decorate the designs with wing panels: from armor-like sleeves, and feathered skirts to dramatic capes.
The embroidery is masterly, giving center-stage to mythical beasts and celestial beings. Sphinxes symbolizing supremacy, mermen: creation, lions: courage, scorpions: fertility, serpents: immortality and eagles: morality.
The color palette is as fierce as the goddess: black/white, bronze/gold, red/orange showing the different sides to a divine woman. The fabrics are luxurious, shiny and smooth, a few pieces include lace elements and transparant materials.
Jean Louis Sabaji has a distinctive, signature style. Fill a red carpet with female celebrities decked out in glamorous gowns and you’ll know which one is wearing Sabaji’s design. His gowns are a work of art, his admiration for nature’s beauty is always present. A Fashion Orientalist favourite!