Jamil Khansa in the spotlight
May 20, 2004
Women who long for simplicity and luxury will fall in love with the artistry of Lebanese fashion designer Jamil Khansa. His designs are evidence of his immeasurable talent, elegance and chic simplicity.
Since his youth, Khansa has been fascinated by fashion. He obtained a Diploma of Fashion Design in Beirut before moving on to Los Angeles in 1994 where he completed an internship.
His love for art, his passion for fashion and his talent in sculpting have provided a strong foundation for success for Khansa. With more than 10 fashion shows under his belt, from Rome to Lebanon’s Casino du Liban, Khansa has truly arrived.
The designer’s 2004 Spring/Summer Collection is marked by the subtlety and transparency of silk, the softness of muslin and the delicacy of lace. In his collection, titled Peace, Khansa combined hues of red, bronze and gold with the purity of white. “My latest collection is very special because it is practical, comfortable for any woman, simple, and can be worn at many occasions,” he said.
Although Khansa has included precious and semi-precious stones in his collection, and they feature, too, in the jewelry specially designed for him by Nabil Cheaib Collection, it is not unusual for the designer to focus solely on the beauty of his textiles and the precision of cut and design.
“What I truly consider as the flagship of my collection is the wedding dress that I encrusted with 518 carats of emeralds and diamonds,” Khansa enthused. You’ve probably already guessed that this is the dazzling gown gracing the cover of this edition of Today’s Outlook.
What women want
When it comes to designing, the most important factor for Khansa is that there is no routine. “You have to keep up with constant change,” he said.
But when it comes to the women he likes to dress, Khansa believes that working with women is a whole world in itself. “I like to dress any woman for the pure fact that she is a woman, but the women that know what they want to wear and those who cooperate with the designer, are my favorites,” he said.
And while many people think it’s the dress that makes the woman – Khansa disagrees. “She makes the piece beautiful, not vice versa.”
Khansa’s clients include a list of renowned international names. For three years, he has been dressing one of the most elegant women in the world. She is Mrs. Bongo, daughter of the president of Congo. “To celebrate French National Day, First Lady of France Bernadette Chirac hosted an event to which Mrs. Bongo was invited. “She wore a design of mine, and for a dress from Beirut to be worn in Paris is something of significance for me and for my country,” said Khansa with some pride.
According to Khansa, every woman is already beautiful. Fashion should never attempt to outshine the wearer. “It becomes too much,” he said.
As for the future…
Khansa is not easily satisfied. He has many plans and a head full of ideas that need only to be accomplished. In addition to his Lebanon atelier and office, he expects to open a boutique in Beverly Hills soon, for example.
He dreams, too, of having a showroom where a woman comes in, buys her wedding dress, lingerie, prêt-a-porter, accessories, makeup, jewelry… everything. “I plan to start one step at a time,” he said, “my first step being lingerie, hopefully to be displayed in Milan next autumn.”
But the grand plans don’t end here. Khansa would also like to have a fashion show in Paris and he thinks a lot about America, feeling that it’s a huge market for haute couture.
Today, Khansa is celebrating 10 magnificent years in haute couture and a reputation as one of the finest Lebanese fashion designers. Is his success pure luck or the result of 10 years of artistic talent, unrelenting work and dedication? Khansa likes to believe it’s a little of both. Many happy returns!