Whenever I visit Beirut, the first boutique I go to is Starch located in Saifi Village. Starch is the brainchild of Lebanese designer Rabih Kayrouz and Tala Hajjar Khalaf (Kayrouz’s PR & Marketing Manager), where they nurture and bring together the finest collections from the brightest up-and-coming fashion designers Lebanon has to offer.
Almost every 6 months, new designer are introduced. So I wanted to find out who’s been chosen this time. The boutique’s interior has been revamped since I last been there. I loved how the ceiling was covered in miles of what it looked like white wool threads to give the impression of starch I guess. There were leather handbags, accessories and some clothes on display by a group of different designers. One designer that caught my attention was Racha Elabbas. Her designs had a mix of eclectic Comme des Garçons shapes but with Marni-like colors. And to my luck, the designer herself was in-store (such a lovely person! Very down-to-earth She's featured in one of the photos below) so I chit chatted with her a bit about her collection, called Collection one, which was inspired by a coupled study of contemporary architecture and fabric. Think hand-painted and graphic-printed jerseys, silks, and wool in shades of blues, nude, grays, and blacks mixed using unexpected details such as pleats, laser-cut details, and draping.
Everything looked beautiful. The only drawback? Starch did not have an ATM/credit card swipe machine. I had to pay in cash and I hate it when that happens!
Scroll down to view or photos of Starch Boutique and Collection one by Racha Elabbas (by the way! Doesn't the model look like a younger version of Lebanese singer Fayrouz??). You can contact Racha Elabbas on (+961) 71 447430 or send her e-mail.