Tag Archives: Lebanese Fashion Bloggers

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Chasing a Dream with Elie Saab

It was supposed to be another star-studded Spring-Summer show for Elie Saab in Paris yesterday. Except this fashionable affair was unlike any other in the designer’s history! As each model strutted down the catwalk, a story about Beirut’s golden age was reflected from the dress she wore; stories about the city that never slept, endless parties, eternal beauty and youth, and a personal reverie of Saab‘s mother wearing a tulip print dress.

 

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This is Elie Saab in all his glory; exploring new patterns and colors, introducing feathers to his collections, reviving low heeled satin sandals, putting on an elaborate show- as if from a fairytale, and ultimately, paying homage to his Beirut!

 

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Now, let the pictures do the rest of the talking..

 

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All images courtesy of style.com

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Best & Worst Dressed at the 2015 SAG Awards!

It was a night of glitz and glamour as actors honored their fellow actors in Los Angeles on Sunday.

Here are the most memorable gowns from the evening along with those we all really want to forget!

Although this look is nowhere close to her breath-taking sighting 2 weeks ago, Julianne Moore dazzles once again in Givenchy. Although I’m not a fan of the tank top design and the somewhat messy hair, the emerald color is simply stunning and the intricate beading is flawless, and those purple Chopard earrings are not so bad either!

 

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Reese Witherspoon continues her winning red carpet streak and shows up in a custom-made Giorgio Armani white one-sleeved gown. The blond beauty adds major bling thanks to 3.5 million dollars worth of Harry Winston diamonds.

 

 

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Modern Family’s Julie Bowen makes her return to the red carpet thanks to a flawless design by George Hobeika. The flirty floral patterned design hugs the actress’ frame and compliments it perfectly.

 

 

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Red carpet darling Naomi Watts wows in an off-the-shoulder navy Balenciaga gown. Once again, the actress flaunts her perfect diamonds from the BVLGARI along with a matching clutch from the Italian brand.

 

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The stunning Khaleesi- also known by her real name, Emilia Clarke walks the carpet with so much sophistication and poise. The uber sexy Brit stuns in a black and navy Donna Karan gown and perfect Cartier jewels.

 

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Jennifer Aniston gives Sofia Vergara a run for her money and takes a deep plunge in a vintage Galliano paisley print gown. The “Cake” actress adds her favorite gold body chain and goes for a blow-dry that just works.

 

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In turn, newly engaged Sofia Vergara drops jaws in a killer Donna Karan Atelier red corset and flowing train combo. The Modern Family actress kept her hair simple and accessorized with her stunning engagement sparkler.

 

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Emma Stone is an absolute winner on the red carpet! She takes a major risk and shows up in a Dior Haute Couture tuxedo jacket dress that is absolutely flawless! The actress keeps her hair and make-up simple and slips into a pair of sexy strappy Louboutins to complete her Best Dressed look.

 

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Felicity Jones chose a beautiful Balenciaga design for the SAGs. It’s too bad that she selected a powder pink version of the gown, because the color completely washes her out.

 

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Claire Danes may not be the train-wreck she was at the Golden Globes, but that doesn’t make her look any better. This Marc Jacobs halter design could have interesting if it weren’t for that busy contrasting belt and stone accents on the sides- yes stone accents!

 

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If you’re feeling an intolerable urge to rip-off Julia Roberts‘ weird looking satin-like pelvis? “pockets”, rest assured, you’re not alone. Roberts’ Givenchy jumpsuit’s tailoring is completely off and those black peep-toes look one size too big/worn out!

 

 

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Keira Knightley: still pregnant, still on the worst dressed list. Although the shade of purple of this Erdem gown is amazing against her skin-tone, Knightley once again chooses to hide her baby bump under layers and layers of unnecessary fabric! Impatiently waiting for this once fashion icon and Chanel darling to wow us again!

 

 

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And last but not least, Modern Family’s Ariel Winter brings the teenage cleavage to the SAGs red carpet courtesy of a winter white Zac Posen gown. Mind you, the actress is only 16 years old and although I read somewhere that she has trouble dressing for her body type, this look is too much dress and a whole lot of face paint for someone who is obviously going out on a school night!

 

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Carmel + Vanilla is 2 Years Old!

Carmel + Vanilla turned 2 yesterday! It seems like it was just a few days ago that I found myself wondering whether it was the right time or not to start a fashion and lifestyle blog. It’s amazing how fast time flies, right? In retrospect, I’m so happy to see my young blog grow and expand to more readers as the days pass. So, to celebrate, I’m turning back time and sharing my favorite 5 posts fro the past two years with you. Read on to discover more!

 

Best and Worst Dressed and The Post that Started it All!

I’m beyond obsessed with E!’s red carpet coverage shows. Long before Carmel + Vanilla even existed, I used to tune in until 3.00 am to watch what my favorite celebrities wore to the red carpet. In fact, this blog kicked off with a Best Dressed post, following the 2013 Golden Globe Awards. Go down memory lane with me and read the post here.

 

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A Rewarding Experience and Giving Back at an Elderly Home:

Sometimes we get caught up in our issues and forget how truly blessed and lucky we are to have family and friends who are there to support us through thick and thin. In the summer of 2013, I visited an elderly home in Mansourieh in hopes of bringing smiles to those who might have lost hope in life. This day was truly inspirational and invite you to read about it here.

 

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Discovering Charbel Zoe and My Most Viewed Post Ever:

I remember that day like it were yesterday. On Thursday, June 12th, 2014- as I was in pain way over my head with a severe case of streptococcus- Jennifer Lopez appeared on TV at the opening of the 2014 World Cup in a drop dead gorgeous leotard. Who was the designer? I just had to find out! Turns out it was Lebanese newcomer Charbel Zoe and it wasn’t even the first time he collaborated with the hot Latina. This information inspired my most viewed post ever, entitled: 4 Things You Probably Didn’t Know about the Lebanese Designer behind JLo’s Outfit at the World Cup Opening Ceremony! I’m thrilled to see how   mega successful Charbel has become, even opening his own boutique on Melrose last month!

 

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Dining in Style – Everywhere!

While having dinner at the Four Seasons in early February 2013, I decided to start a “Dining in Style” section on Carmel + Vanila. The culinary experiences that I shared with friends and family were largely documented on the blog in this section. Here’s to more yummy food in the coming year!

 

 

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Meeting an International Lebanese Designer: One-on-One with Rabih Keyrouz:

It was a dream come true! I couldn’t believe how down to earth and inspirational Rabih Keyrouz was. It was a delight and a pleasure to meet him over a signature cup of pomegranate juice in his atelier in Beirut in 2014. Read my interview with him here.

 

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A big thank you goes out to everyone who encouraged me to carry on and write on a continuous basis. Special thanks to Ralph who is my go-to blog tech-guru- I couldn’t do it without you!

Here’s to another year of blogging!

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5 Best Dressed Stars from 2014

The new year marks the arrival of the all-important awards season. In just a few days’ time, Hollywood’s A list will be flooding LA’s red carpets, decked out in designer wear, sparkling jewels, and sky- high heels.

In honor of this impending season, let’s take a look back at some of last year’s best dressed stars!

Lupita Nyong’o was just another name early last year. But, in a few week’s time the Kenyan beauty walked away with an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in 12 Years A Slave and hit every best dressed list along the way. Who can forget her coral “cape” moment courtesy of Ralph Lauren at the Golden Globes or her “Nairobi” blue Prada gown at the Oscars?

 

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When you think of Sofia Vergara, the first words that come to mind are: bombshell, latina, hot, sexy, among others. At 42, this drop-dead gorgeous Columbian keeps getting hotter as the days go by. Although Vergara is often criticized for wearng the same silhouette every red carpet, she still managed to wow audience in 2014 with a show stopping white Roberto Cavalli at the Emmys. The actress switched things up at the Golden Globe Awards by putting on a flawless black Zac Posen gown and accessorized it with a breath-taking Laurraine Schwartz statement necklace.

 

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She was pregnant for most of 2014, but Olivia Wilde looked hotter than ever as her pregnancy advanced. Her prime moment was when she walked the red carpet wearing an amazing emerald Gucci sequined dress that accentuated her baby bump flawlessly. She completed her look with Forevermark diamonds and the best ombre hair you’ve ever seen!

 

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Kate Hudson is no stranger to best dressed lists! Although the actress was spotted wearing a similar color palette throughout the year, she was a winner every time! Her most memorable moments include a plunging sparkling caped Atelier Versace gown at the Academy Awards and a Gucci Premiere one-shouldered dress at the LACMA Art & Film Gala.

 

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After a quiet 2013, Blake Lively made a fashion come-back in 2014! The former Gossip Girl turned heads during every red carpet event in every corner of the world. The actress was on a winning streak during the 2014 Cannes Film Festival where she dazzled in 3 FLAWLESS Gucci gowns and tons of diamonds!

 

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All images are courtesy of Eonline.com

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4 Fun Activities to do this Weekend to Beat the Holiday-End Blues!

If you just woke up from your New Year’s Eve slumber, chances are you’re pretty down now that the holidays are over. However, I’m here to tell you that although Christmas and New Year have come and gone in the blink of an eye (seriously!) there are plenty of fun things to do this weekend to ease you into the new month and help you forget that life will go back to normal on Monday.

Visit the Gingerbread!

A group of local artists have come together to showcase paintings, photos, holiday arrangements, candles, jewelry, pottery, and ceramics. This is all part of the Gingerbread Artist Christmas Exhibition that is running until January 15th.  The exhibition marks the beginning of a series of events that will initiate a new movement called “Loyal to Local” in order to start the trend of shopping, eating, spending, and enjoying local. For more details, click here.

 

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You can never go wrong with wine!

Spend this rainy weekend getting lost in one of Lebanon’s local wineries.  If you’ve spent a lot in between Christmas gifts and New Year’s Eve plans, then Ixsir gives you a reason to continue to celebrate by organizing wine tours on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday along with wine tasting sessions that are completely free of charge.

 

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Visit the Arnaoon Christmas Village!

The charming village which is perfectly nestled in Batroun, welcomes you with fully decked-out Christmas inspired activities for the whole family to enjoy. The venue will also be showcasing a special small recycled village until January 6th.

 

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Hit the Sales!

The best way to beat the holiday blues is to literally shop till you drop! The first week of January marks the beginning of the winter season sales in most of our beloved boutiques. So, gather your girlfriends and book a full day of shopping to stock up on your favorite winter essentials at your most loved stores.

 

 

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The 5 Worst Red Carpet Moments of 2014

2014 witnessed some sensational moments for countless Hollywood stars! Others though, weren’t as lucky when it came to walking the red carpet in their designer duds. Here now are the top fashion crimes of 2o14!

While Jennifer Lawrence wowed audience with her winning red carpet streak to promote The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, the actress wasn’t quite as lucky in the first quarter of the year. JLaw arrived at January’s Golden Globe awards  in a white Dior duvet- like white gown. Her look was clearly reminiscent of Ariel in The Little Mermaid and the excessive accessories and the gothic makeup made the whole look more of a disaster.

 

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Although “haters gonna hate”, there’s no reason to give them an obvious reason to Taylor Swift! The “shake it off” singer showed up to the MTV Video Music Awards looking more like a figure skater rather than a country superstar in this Mary Katrantzou mess! Everything was wrong about this look; from the weird letters on her romper to the mismatched heels, this outfit choice is surely “going down in flames”.

 

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Heidi Klum was probably one of the most successful models in the early 2000s. Nowadays though, the Project Runway host uses her red carpet passes to flaunt her cleavage and thighs at every chance she can get. Take this appearance at the Golden Globes for example: Klum is once again showing off excessive cleavage in a hideous gown by Gucci and her fashion sense clearly chocked on that hideous 90s inspired black and white chocker!

 

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What a disaster it was when Ms. Amber Rose‘s invite to the MTV Video Music Awards got lost in the mail and didn’t make it to her house on time! Lacking any style or class, the model thought it would be appropriate to show up in a micro thong an a string beaded bra that barely covered any bits of her body up.

 

 

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You might think that Amber Rose should be the ultimate winner of worst dressed celebrity, but rest assured that there is one more outfit that is worse than a bra-thong combo; this disaster is by non other than Lena Dunham who showed up to the Emmy’s in a powder pink button down shirt and a full tulle Valli multicolored skirt. Ring the alarm because there really are no words for this crime!

 

66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Arrivals

Elie Saab - Opening soon on the George V, Paris

Elie Saab to Open Boutique on Paris’ Georges V Street

On a recent trip to Paris, I was positively surprised to see that our very own Elie Saab is opening a boutique on the legendary George V street in the French capital!

 

Elie Saab - Opening soon on the Georges V, Paris
Elie Saab – Opening soon on the Georges V, Paris

 

The designer already has a boutique in Paris situated on the Avenue Franklin Roosevelt catering to Haute Couture; Ready to Wear boutiques are located in Mexico, Hong Kong, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Qatar, UAE, as well as France and Lebanon.

While there is no word yet regarding the exact opening date, it is important to note that the Georges V street is home to The Four Seasons as well as several other 5 star hotels and brand boutiques that are perpendicular to the legendary Champs Elysees.

Last year, the Four Seasons Georges V housed an exhibition featuring Saab’s Haute Couture AW 2013/2014 show- obviously a sign showing that the five star hotel is proud to call our Lebanese designer it’s new next-door neighbor.

 

A stunning wedding gown by Elie Saab on display at the designer's exhibition at The Four Seasons Georges V, last year.
A stunning wedding gown by Elie Saab on display at the designer’s exhibition at The Four Seasons Georges V, last year.
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Best and Worst Dressed at the 2014 American Music Awards

The American Music Awards took place last night in Los Angeles, and just like every awards show, music’s biggest stars came out to celebrate their achievements in designer gowns and gorgeous bling. Let’s discover the best and worst stars!

Selena Gomez is all grown up! The songstress wowed with a “business in the front, party in the back” gown by Armani Prive, She went for Neil Lane sparklers and kept her hair and makeup simple.

 

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Selena GOmez

 

Another beauty in black! After taking some time off to concentrate on her baby boy, Fergie hit the red carpet in a Halston Heritage gown, bearing a thigh high slit. I love the combination of her hair with the bold gold accessories and those black strappy heels are to die for!

 

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Julianne Hough dazzled in a bright coral Zuhair Murad gown. With a blend of bright orange and gold, it felt as if summer was back on the red carpet! Now if only Julianne had styled her hair differently..

 

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Kate Beckinsale is simply breath-taking in a plunging white Kaufman Franco gown! Her hot factor is sky high thanks to this serpentine silver Bvlgari choker. Hands down, best dressed of the night!

 

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I know that Jennifer Lopez can practically wear anything, but there is no excuse for wrapping a satin bed sheet around your body and calling it a dress! Yes JLo’s body is obviously better than ever, her skin is glowing, and her Louboutins are fabulous, but what’s going on from her neck to her ankles is a disaster!

 

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After her winning look at this year’s Emmy’s, Heidi Klum goes back to high slits and cutouts in a monochrome Versace combo with- get this- platform heels with turquoise and pink detailing. FAIL!

 

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Someone’s ready for New Year’s Eve! A lot of gold and too much face paint, this is a Lanvin FAIL for Olivia Munn.

 

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A the risk of sounding like your mom, all I’m going to say is: This is 17 year old Kylie Jenner wearing Alexandre Vauthier. Wonder what 18 will hold for her..

 

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If you thought Amber Rose’s getup at the VMAs was disastrous, wait till you see what Bleona Qereti wore to the AMAs! Qereti is a high profile Albanian singer who decided to show up  in a see-through fishnet mesh “dress” to the awards show. A slinky thong and silver nipple pasties completed this fashion crime.

 

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Remembering Oscar De La Renta

The world woke up to the news of Oscar De La Renta’s passing this morning. For many, Oscar De La Renta was a dream-maker and a design master mind.

De La Renta was discovered by the U.S. Ambassador to Spain’s wife, who saw a few of his sketches and asked him to dress her daughter. This dress landed on the cover of Life magazine and soon enough, the Dominican born designer’s career took off. Following tenures at Balenciaga, Lanvin, and Elizabeth Arden, De La Renta started his own label in 1965.

 

Hillary Clinton at the Inaugural Ball in Oscar De La Renta
Hillary Clinton at the Inaugural Ball in Oscar De La Renta

 

The designer’s name is synonymous with evening wear and day time suits (that are largely favored by the “ladies who lunch” in New York’s swanky five star hotels). He is famous for voluminous skirts, embroideries, and rich colors that reflect his hispanic heritage.

 

Jessica Biel

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Oscar De La Renta was adored by the US’s first ladies, dressing everyone from Jackie Kennedy to Hillary Clinton to Laura Bush, and finally, Michele Obama. His famous celebrity friends included Anna Wintour, Sarah Jessica Parker, and the new Mrs. Amal Clooney – who was featured with the designer (in what would probably be his last photo shoot) in the latest issue of Vogue following her lavish Venice wedding to George Clooney last September.

 

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Sara Jessica Parker in Oscar De La Renta at the 2014 Met Gala

 

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Amal Alamuddin Poses with Oscar De La Renta in Vogue

 

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Michael Kors Boutique NOW OPEN in Downtown Beirut

Tuesday marked the boutique opening of one of my all time favorite American brands, Michael Kors!

You probably already shop Michael Kors in ABC Achrafieh and BHV CityMall, but this is the first stand alone full-fledged boutique for the designer in Lebanon, with a strategic location in Beirut Souks.

As an avid fan of the Michael Kors, I love the brand’s idea of Jet.Set.Go, that embodies effortlessness in a sophisticated yet accessisble all American style. Make sure to make some time to check out the boutique this weekend. Remember that a stand-alone location means more variety and a more relaxed and refined shopping experience, which we all crave when dropping a hefty sum on a designer item!

 

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Thank you to the amazing team at BNL for the pictures