The notes stated that for this Fall/Winter 2013 Couture show, Lebanese designer, Georges Hobeika, would travel back in time to capture the essence of royal couture but would interweave modern fashion nuances to create a collection for today’s aristocrat. With yet another princess collection ahead of us, we wondered why so many designers consistently look to royalty for inspiration, when, in fact, the princess phenomenon is a glass ceiling in disguise.
Curious to see how literally Hobeika would interpret this royal theme, we indulged in a peek backstage before the show. But rather than opening the door to the wardrobe of today’s contemporary aristocrat, what we saw instead looked more like girls playing dress up ahead of a production of Shakespeare in Love.
One of the first looks on the catwalk was an awkwardly shaped fishtail gown that offered for an unexpectedly rhythmic moment. The young model shuffled along, and her fishtail bounced up and down like a ruby red jellyfish in perfect unison with the pulsating music.
But Hobeika’s costume catwalk show had only just begun. Next, out came several monastic coats, with poorly finished hemlines and embellished with out-of-place Elizabethan-era ruffs. Fortunately, most were removable.
Perhaps in an attempt to modernize the looks, Hobeika cinched the waists with skinny belts, which added a chic touch to the ball gowns and slender silhouettes—until the models turned around and we saw that the belt buckles were clasped in the back, a look that Elie Saab first proposed at his Fall 2012 Couture show, and a look that still comes across as silly. As for the color palette: the nudes, soft pinks, peaches, and other pale pastels looked timeworn though the blood red color was indeed rich.
Looks that did catch the eye, however, were the pencil-skirt suits, which were sleekly tailored with peplum waists and featured delicate lace inserts coming out from under three-quarter length sleeves, which provided for a few moments of courtly charm.
With regards to this collection, Hobeika appears to be out of touch with today’s couture craftsmanship and through poor execution and gimmicky embellishments, has not created a collection that could be called an homage to this great art. The son of a seamstress, and originally trained as a civil engineer, it is unfortunate that Hobeika is building a reputation for creating hit or miss collections.