YOU’LL KNOW WHEN A BRIDE struts down the aisle dressed in a Krikor Jabotian creation.
The Lebanese couturier spins dresses from rich fabrics and soft tulle, patterned with lavish embroidery. His gowns are sculptured voluminous skirts, adorned with clusters of pearls and gold metal thread — an ancient Ottoman embellishment technique that is a nod to the designer’s Armenian heritage.
An Eye For Detail
As a child, Jabotian already had a keen eye for detail. He would notice the way his mother’s skirt flared around her ankles, or the sound of his aunt’s heels clicking a rhythmic beat across the floor.
He joined the creative atelier of Lebanese designer Elie Saab upon graduating from the prestigious fashion school École Supérieure des Arts et techniques de la Mode (ESMOD) in Beirut. It was here that he came to appreciate the delicate beauty of embroidery.
“Working with Elie Saab was a very enriching experience. I began researching on embroidery materials, and how certain techniques worked better at reflecting light. It became a way of interpreting embroidery in my own work.” says Jabotian. He founded his eponymous couture house in 2009 at the age of 23.
Going For Gold
Be it a dramatic cape or a voluminous skirt lavishly bejewelled to bring texture to the fabric, his opulent designs rely on a primary palette of champagne and metallic colours. One of his earlier collections used silicone on lace, to help create a 3-D embellishment that look like a sculpted floral explosion.
Reflecting on his first 10 years in couture, the 33-year-old admits the early years were not easy: “Being young when I first ventured out on my own made me more vulnerable to making mistakes.”
He adds, “Still, I wouldn’t change a thing about it. Good or bad, I was adventurous and passionate in all I did.”
Always one for a challenge, Jabotian is venturing into ready-to-wear gowns next. It’s a challenging endeavour for a designer known for his elaborate embroideries. “To come up with a design that sticks to your roots as a brand but is something that can be very wearable, commercial, and more accessible at the same time is not easy,” says Jabotian.
The young designer is also hoping to leverage on his recent award to open new doors in Paris, where he has yet to hold a couture show. “I want to share my work with people who have not seen what we do, and for me, Paris is the capital of couture.”