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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.