Monday, December 14, 2015

WASTE x Maya Metni limited edition bag collection

Just in time for the holidays! 
I am so proud to share the big news: 
I, along with 3 other designers, just finished a HAND-DRAWN capsule collection,  for one of my favorite brands: waste !

The other talented designers are MJ Ayoub, Souad Eid & Mirella Salamé. The bag itself is completely hand-sewn with used flex material & rubber. Slim and sleek, it can also fit a laptop. 

My collection of 20 unique bags will be launched Wednesday Dec 16 at the waste Pop Up shop in Saifi, here is the event page.

Now isn't that the coolest gift idea? 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

> Downton Abbey Fashion 2015

Last time we talked about this it was 2012 as you can see right here, but since we reached the #LastDaysofDownton, I thought we should have a recap of the fashion outfits of Season 6.

Will you look at that smart mix of burgundy, grey tweed, and browns?

Night Blue bag and gloves with soft greige, Bravo Lady Mary!

The art direction was very interesting a few years back, but now, each scene, each sequence is a delight, and the quotes funnier time after time...

As all good things must come to an end, I wanted to immortalize these few snapshots.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

"On the road" fashion editorial ~ RJ sneak peek

You've read the book, or at least seen the movie...

If I ever want to travel through the US, it is merely for a road trip on the Mystic Iconic Route 66, but only as Jack Kerouac described it. Maybe because this time is long gone, or was never real... maybe because it only exits in our imagination and in the poems of the Beat Generation.

Here's our Kerouac inspired shoot, on a route you all know, in a valley not so far from here...

Thanks again to all the RJ team & to Imad El Khoury, this editorial was shot in difficult conditions.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

> Chateau Biac or a little Lebanese magic near St Emilion!

This summer we went on a family road trip through the French Vignobles... From Bourgogne (Burgundy) and its "climats" to Bordeaux, St Emilion, Langoiran, Bergerac, Monbazillac...
It was quite a trip! I even let the kids taste the different "terroirs"! Don't gasp, just a sip ;-)

But the highlight of our journey was definitely our magical visit to the Biac Vignobles!
Thanks to our oenologist friend Diana, we were delighted to meet Youmna Asseily, who is the sparkling lady, with her charming husband, who gave back Biac all its glory, and much more...

These are the different cépages at Biac, as as you can see they have a exceptional location on a small sunny hill over the Garonne! A unique Terroir indeed... And an enchanting land to live in.

Mrs Asseily was so kind to give us a full tour to show us the grapes, the new renovated "chai", the tasting room... And all these spaces have one thing in common: Passion! 

You cannot be so much involved in an estate ~some grapes are picked grain per grain!!~ without reflecting your religious adoration on the wines... Biac is truly a "GRAND VIN" de Bordeaux...

About the wines:
Chateau Biac, my preference, a modern Bordeaux Wine that ages gracefully...
B de Biac: from the same plots, but ready to be enjoyed directly, a good companion for relaxed encounters... 
For both these wines Mrs Asseily chose her family crest as label: Felix the Royal Cat.

Which brings us to Felix: The playful wine of the family, with Kufi type inspiration. Can be even chilled in summer...

And Secret: the sweet golden nectar Cadillac wine. This is the one collected grain per grain, on various days depending from each maturation. Truly the gold of the gods...

The tasting room has oriental accents, with pieces from Images d'Orient, Nathalie Fallaha, and other artists, and it is really the "bouquet final" after the crescendo of the visit..

It is not a surprise that a family coming from our piece of the planet took this estate and renovated it, we have a history with vineyards and grape culture that goes back to the Antiquité. Bacchus was originally Lebanese!! ;-)

To know more about Chateau Biac click here for their lovely website that truly depicts their magical spirit and history. And make sure to taste their wine: it is available in Lebanon.

Last but not least, a small "secret de Biac": the Asseilys have three guest houses that you can rent if you are a true wine lover. But schhhh.... keep it confidential.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

> Firenze Success Story: Mercato Centrale

Last month we visited Pitti Uomo in Firenze, and I wrote a post about the brands that caught our attention. However the visual and gastronomic explosion that marked us forever was ~ DRUM ROLL~... IL MERCATO CENTRALE!

(logo and identity by Almagreal, representing the central location of the mercato)

This Iron and Glass building was created in 1874 by Giuseppe Mengoni, who designed as well the famous Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in Milano. For its 140th birthday, Umberto Montano and Claudio Cardini gave this San Lorenzo Covered Market its glory, bringing people back to this vibrant city landmark, with traditional shops that give the artisans the center stage.

Following this idea, every booth is hosted by its star artisan, with his name and caricature illustration by Jonathan Calugi, who caught the character of each person so perfectly.

Here is a small animation by Simone Brillaleri of one artisan for example:

Amazing isn't it?

The food of course compeets by far with the most famous restaurants in Florence, not to mention that it's for a bargain! I had the best pasta and arancina tradizionale with a delicious Aperol Spritz, for around 20 euro...

I leave you now with a few pictures of the identity in the website, magazine, place etc...

Ecollo qua! Bravo a tutti, direttore, architetto, designer, animator, illustrator...good job!

Don't miss it if you're on a trip to Italy and i know a lot of you are planning to this summer...

UPDATE!!! Thanks to this post I've just discovered that the talented Lebanese Stephanie Richa worked with Jonathan Calugi on the identity during her internship in Firenze! BRAVISSIMI!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

BIFEX 2015 Conference & Pop Culture GALA dinner

I can't believe it's been three weeks we finished BIFEX, the yearly conference of LFA, Lebanese Franchise Association!
As usual, my job was to create this year's conference branding, all the animations that passed on the screen, as well as all the prints.

Concerning the closing Gala, the theme was the "Lebanese Pop & TV Culture" of the seventies.
Tonight I will be on #BalaToulSire - Future TV to talk about it, as Zaven is also very interested by this theme and is actually publishing a book about the subject!

Here are a few pictures; first the preparations of the giant TV screen:

The hundreds of TVs in the Deco...

The old soda bottles with carnations, the "in" flower at the time:

Having a laugh on the vintage TV set:

The Diffa Ladies, totally in the theme ;-)

Pierette Katrib, the perfect MC

Souad el Achi " As3ada allahou masakom..."

Allo hayété... Pierette and Mr Majzoub:

 8eme Art performing Allo Hayété:

George Khabbaz paying a tribute to all the late stars...

Zaven & Rima Karaki with the 7up bottles ;-)

Chou batariytak? Vintage ads played by 8eme Art..

Yanasseeb dour w seeb... The real Lebanese Lottery Wheels!

After that, the awards started, and then we fired up the dance floor, in good LFA tradition...

Huge thanks to Mr Makdessi for the TL archives, IAA for the advertising archives, Rita Moussalem & her team who found solutions to produce all my ideas. Sultan Touma, Omar Youssef and all the Screen-Lighting-Audio-Video-Photo team, 8e Art for a wonderful performance, Bassam Abou Zeid, Rita & Jean Aoun, Joe Alam who made BIFEX a trending hashtag on social media this year...

We were about 50 people striving to make this event a success and it was even more. Thank you all!

Little update! Here's the sequence with Zaven!


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