“Love is a Rebellious Bird” Georges Hobeika’s Andalusian Couture collection
Diala Aschkar, Art Director at Orient Palms, Paris, France

“Love is a Rebellious Bird”

Georges Hobeika’s Andalusian Couture collection

Georges Hobeika’s Fall-Winter 2017-2018 show at the Paris haute couture fashion week was a dazzling evocation of Andalusia. Hobeika’s sumptuous designs were reminiscent of the vibrant patterns of the Alcazabas, of the geometric tesserae of the azulejos mosaics and of the majestic architecture of Granada, Cordoba or Sevilla. From the flamboyant capes to the mermaid-shaped dresses, to the curvy shapes of botanical elements embellishing graceful boleros, everything exuded a sensuality worthy of the homeland of Flamenco.

I couldn’t but start with the capes! There was a myriad of them in this collection. They looked like a breathtaking parade of royal attire with their Al-Andalus tradition of gorgeous and elaborate arabesques.

  • double cape en tweed irisé poudre brodé d’or et de cristaux sur une Robe bustier en tweed irisé poudre ©ImaxTree
  • cape en crêpe de soie off white brodé de de perles , pailletés et de cristaux sur une joue sirène en crêpe de soie off white ©ImaxTree

Hobeika used powerful red carmine dresses to emphasize the sensuality of a culture where, as Carmen sang it, “Love is a rebellious bird, that no one can tame”… Here, a very sexy silk muslin slit dress with a spectacular tulle cape competes with a sheer dress made of layered Georgette silk that seems no less provocative.

  • Robe drape en mousseline de soie sous une veste en tulle de soie et ornée de fleurs de soie et dentelles
    ©ImaxTree
  • Robe rouge en double Georgette de soie brodé de fleurs rouge et doré ©ImaxTree

Losange shapes that evoke the marquetry of Mudejar art and marine blue flowers embroidered on off-white silk tulle create a magical Arabian princess, emerging from a dream.

Robe en tulle de soie off white brodé carreaux ajoure argent , or et fleur marine ©ImaxTree

A high point of the collection was the mermaid shaped marine dress with its masterfully designed arabesque embroideries, underlined by an iridescent silk muslin trail. This glowing flowy trail became a skirt in another design with the same color and fabric.

  • Robe en tulle de soie Marine brodé de petites perles de cristaux marine Traine en mousseline de soie irisé ©ImaxTree
  • Robe bleu marine : Corsage en tulle de soie brodée de cristaux marine Jupe en mousseline de soie lame marine ©ImaxTree

The only short dress in the collection is a pure play of colorful mosaics — marine blue, gold, coral and green — looking like azulejos coming out of the lavish palaces of Andalusia.

Robe courte en tulle de soie brodée de perles multicolores ©ImaxTree

The burgundy and violet dress offers a mixture of Flamenco and Arabian style. The sophisticated full burgundy dress in tulle and silk crêpe has all sorts of leaves motifs shaping the waist, the bustier and even as faux-necklaces, adding the exotic touch of an old era.

  • Robe en dentelles bronze brodé de cristaux mauve et bronze Châle en mousseline de soie mauve ©ImaxTree
  • Robe bustier en tulle et crêpe de soie brodé de cristaux traîne en mousseline de soie irisé ©ImaxTree

This « années 40 » style mingles with a dashing bustier motif of a tree-of-life that highlights the breasts contours. Stunning, the long “années 20” Charleston dress next to it is skin revealing with placed fringes and embroidered motifs.

  • Robe corsage en tulle de soie bordeaux brodée de cristaux Jupe en mousseline de soie gaufre et lame ©ImaxTree
  • Robe charleston en tulle de soie brodé de cristaux bordeaux ©ImaxTree

The bolero vests and the frilled skirt or the transparent revealing one add a touch of flamenco spirit to a contemporary overall design. The resulting elegance is a fusion of sensuality and Parisian chic.

  • Veste et jupe en tulle de soie off white brodé d’organza découpe laser , dentelles et cristaux off white ©ImaxTree
  • Veste courte en tweed irisé poudre brodée de paillettes, perles et cristaux pastels
    Jupe plissée en organza de soie rose

    ©ImaxTree

The below dresses with shimmery laser-cut beads in silver pink or silver evoke the luxurious fountains that bring much needed freshness – and, in a way, sensuality – inside the overheated inner courtyards of Al-Andalus palaces.

  • Robe en tulle rose brodé d’organza plissé découpe laser de paillettes argenté et de cristaux rose argent ©ImaxTree
  • Robe en tulle de soie rose brodé rayure et charleston, ceinture brodée de cristaux argent ©ImaxTree

The final bridal look, with the flamenco head flowers placed on each side, the embroidered light lines of arabesque shapes on the veil, the flowery leaves stemming from the waist and descending on the ample skirt, was the perfect conclusion of this evocation of a place and time where Arabic art and European traditions merged to create a distinctive culture in the South of Europe.

Robe de mariée en tulle de soie beige poudre brodé des fleurs et de milles cristaux Voile de soie irisé brodé de cristaux ©ImaxTree