Nisrine Harakat is a Lebanese-Moroccan designer who’s redefining bridal wear with Maison Takarah — a Parisian bridal house for the contemporary modern woman. Throughout her designs, Harakat draws on her fascination for timeless beauty and elegance, “I see The Takarah bride as a Goddess of modern times, she is attached to the timeless beauty of cuts and materials, but she also loves modernity,” she says. Maison Takarah, which is Harakat’s last name spelled backwards, can be best described as timeliness, powerful and poetic.
After working for Elie Saab and Isabel Marant, Harakat wanted to create a brand that challenged societal gender norms. “I feel like that’s the environment I grew up in. I’ve always questioned my identity. As a woman in a predominantly masculine world, I had to pay attention to the way I dressed, particularly in crowded and popular areas. While working with men, I had to dress and behave like a man to be respected. However, I’m also very feminine. I wanted to translate that into my brand’s identity,” she explains.
The bride is marrying herself
“Brides today are much more independent and powerful. The codes are changing and women no longer want to adhere to societal values. They want to be themselves. The problem I see with many brides these days is that they do not look like themselves. They are so far from who they are in real life – wearing super heavy dresses, for example — but it’s time to break the codes. It’s time to break what’s normal,” she says. According to Harakat, the Maison Takarah bride is marrying herself, she is independent, she doesn’t need a man.
Stepping away from the glitz and glam of Arab bridal wear, Maison Takarah’s approach embraces minimalism. The exclusive FTA Pulse editorial, shot by Harakat in Paris, represents the duality that she seeks to explore through her work. Shot in an old Renaissance-style hotel, with historic columns, the looks worn by three imagined, powerful Arab women, based in Europe who are breaking the mold and who continue to inspire many through their personality and work, perfectly capture Harakat’s vision for the modern bride. “The edgy look of models with black sun-glasses and boots, create an edgy and cool identity,” she says.
Silk suits and duchess satin belts
“This collection celebrates the modern bride who is looking for style and authenticity, from jumpsuits to suits to sheer dresses ideal for a seaside wedding. Today, weddings are celebrated in several stages, so it’s important for me to offer my clients a wide range of looks that allow them to highlight their personality,” says Harakat, who likes the idea of the bride embodying a different character during the different events around the wedding and to surprise the guests with very fashion-forward looks, that some may see as unexpected. “I propose silk suits with a duchess satin belt for the drama of the civil wedding, and hand embroidered transparent tunics ideal for a henna night or a seaside wedding.”
From the corseted dress with a sculptural duchess satin drape and a removable train, to the large duchess satin dress with a built-in corset and a draped crop top, or the draped corset that can be styled with a skirt or a pair of pants, Harakat hopes to create pieces will last and that can be worn to different occasions and events, going beyond the wedding day itself. According to Maison Takarah, that is the future of the bridal.