Lebanese fashion designer Luana Mahfouz recently launched an executive collection for professional women. The creative woman, who oozes confidence and elegance as she walks by, aims to change the way women are perceived in the mass media. Luana confronts sexualization, human trafficking… by pushing the boundaries in fashion.
In collaboration with EJJEH 1926, a third generation textile expert in menswear tailoring, the collection consists of 12 suits made using men’s fabrics and details. “The fashion market is saturated with clothes that focus mainly on making women beautiful and sexy. That’s not enough for me. I believe women should have access to clothes that make them look beautiful, as well as reflect their strength , professional, and intellectual abilities,” explains Luana.
“The fabrics and material of men’s suits have become associated with power and success, especially in business. With this collection, I am bringing the same association to women,” she added.
Luana’s unique fashion runway, hosted at the new Beirut International Exhibition & Leisure Center (‘new BIEL’), opened with a dramatic performance by fashion influencer Ghina Ghandour with “I am free” (‘أناحرة‘) printed on the palm of her hands, breaking-free from a pair of gold-plated handcuffs, and instead choosing to wear them as an accessory. The act symbolises female liberation, and Luana’s main message that a woman is not a product.
Luana’s fashion show, which was dedicated to the victims of human trafficking, also featured a live violin performance by Hanine Al Alam, who vogued her way between the models playing a custom-made track mix of James Bond ‘007.
The collection features a modern interpretation of the sleeve garter, a vintage mens accessory, iconic of the 19th century speak easy era, traditionally used to hold sleeves up. To accentuate the femininity of the executive collection, the designs incorporate the corset belt, shaped from the classic tailoring patterns of mens vests, combining the prestige and power of the 3 piece suit, with the beauty of the female silhouette.
A plain grey suit can be transformed into the pinnacle of Italian elegance if accessorized with a suitable tie. Using similar principles of modularity, Luana employs the tie as an extension of the the suit jacket, as a splash of color and finesse to accent the fine tailoring of the executive collection.