There’s just been some big news for the Lebanese fashion scene! Nour Takieddine has just shown off her Lebanon-inspired designs to no other than Donatella Versace at the house of Versace in Milan.

Takieddine graduated from the Lebanese American University in 2021 with a Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design and won the Elie Saab Prix du Jury that same year. Today, the young designer is pursuing her Master’s degree at Parson’s Paris, during which she has had the opportunity to do a collaborative project with the house of Versace.

“As a designer, I am known to be more extravagant, as I create wearable art. I would take garments that are not necessarily wearable and create pieces that will make people question the idea of fashion becoming art,” says Takieddine to Pulse. The designer works through manipulating fabric, specifically embroidery and heat pressed plastic bags, as she factors sustainability into her work. She creates a mix of luxury and banality in her designs.

Someone who would leave an impact

As a kid, arts and crafts was always her favorite activity. Through mini workshops in her garden throughout the summer for her and her friends, Takieddine discovered her true calling and passion for fashion design. “I always wanted to create things out of nothing. As I was surrounded by people doing hand work, like my grandmother with her crochet, or the people in my village doing fabric manipulation. I decided to delve more into the fashion scene and see where my dreams would lead me,” says Takieddine.

The aspiring designer found a sense of pride at hearing Lebanese names on the red carpet, and she was motivated to become not only a designer, but someone who would leave an impact through speaking in the name of their heritage and their culture.

Whilst doing her MFA program at Parsons, qualified and hand-picked students had the chance to travel to Milan in order to present their collection to the house of Versace. Takieddine and her peers visited the headquarters of the house and went to the archives to view a special exhibition that was specially curated for them. Takieddine had the privilege not only to meet Donatella Versace in person, but to also present her collection. Students were assigned a pair of looks from Gianni and Donatella Versace and had to come up with their own products, garments and performances. Donatella Versace made sure to instruct Takieddine and her classmates to take into consideration the heritage and the DNA of the Italian house and wanted each student to add elements of their own culture to the project.

I personally was assigned a look from the SS91 collection of Gianni Versace, which was a collection mainly focusing on pop culture, the jumpsuit I had to work on had the covers of Vogue magazines patchworked on to it. The second look was the Donatella version of the jumpsuit,” says Takieddine.

Medusa transformed into Fairuz

The designer wanted to focus on a few things; first of all she wanted to represent a part of her identity as a designer and the fact that she is Lebanese, secondly, because Versace has a very strong Greek and Roman baroque style, she decided to study the DNA of the brand and mix that idea with the fact that Lebanon was once part of the Roman Empire. Takieddine ended up focusing on the Baalbek temples, creating a fusion and collages incorporating the temples and elements from Versace’s designs.

It was very important for me to add an icon into the design and Fairuz instantly popped into my mind. Medusa, Versace’s logo, was then transformed into Fairuz’s face in my designs,” says Takieddine. The idea was to mix the styles of Versace’s homeware, such as pillows and bedding, with the lifestyle of Versace women, women who wear, live and breathe the brand. As a result, the designer needed to represent an entire lifestyle in one piece. Takieddine did so by imagining Lebanese women in the 60s, the decadence and the idea of luxury and glamour.

Being the only person selected from the Middle East to go present my collection to the house of Versace was the biggest breakthrough of my life. It is very important to know that you are the only person who can speak about your own country in your very own way and this is what I did through my designs,” says Takieddine.