London meets Beirut assembles the Jigsaw pieces
London meets Beirut By Starch foundation and the British council – Coverage
By Admin I : And I thought Beirut fashionistas would be too busy on a Saturday morning, either sleeping after a long Gemayzeh night, or avoiding “des poches sous les yeux”, but for instance, I was totally shocked to witness such a positive creative energy taking place in one event that was able to attract young students as well as la crème de la crème of the design industry sitting next to each other (sadly, there was no extra chairs for egos) but it all came to be very inspiring and highly interesting.
It started with Stefan Siegel the man behind notjustalabel.com that showcased his experience showing that success cannot be made without taking risks. Without the cheesy famous quotes, he only told his personal story with its ups and downs until he reached a website that features more than 7000 designers form all over the world, providing exposure, fame and even helping them selling their collections and launch their careers.
The presentation was rich and exciting until the Q&A when people started a debate over online shopping, and paypal service in Lebanon, showing a total lack of concentration that felt as if attending a PR event where everyone is craving to market his own business!
And then came another talk by Philip Delamore; not the crowd’s favorite obviously, but the presentation introduced a new range of design majors and dimensions, even though it looked more like an advertising opportunity for his university than being an inspirational talk. Another similar approach to the topic was showcased by Ursula Geisselmann from Wallpaper magazine, presenting the famous magazine on a very basic level, closer to a Google research that could have saved the flight expenses .. (was that rude?!)
Anyhow, the day went on, and the time came for the Lebanese panel of designers to talk. The 4 chosen speakers were more than inspirational; True examples of how Lebanon is a fertile land for creativity simply because it lacks creative work. Rabih keyrouz, stressing on sharing efforts, Rana Salam on using our own heritage and “playing” with design as she quotes it, Karim Chaya encouraging aspiring designers to collaborate with our local handcrafters that could give impeccable results, and Nada Debs that showed the influence of a multicultural background on a design work.
All in all, London meets Beirut, was one of the best seminars I’ve ever attended. Wishing some “starch” dust to reach all design fields and not only fashion since as said today:
The pieces of the jigsaw are in this room; let’s create the platform to come together
Some side spices:
– Would loved if students attending the event were more interested in the true content rather than discussing one of the talkers’ wardrobe back when she was their teacher.
– the majority of the questions asked were nonsense and could be easily Googled, Q&A would have been much more interesting .. too bad!
– I’m X and I do X on X.com been doing it for X years and it’s a very successful business / I’m X, studied X but not finding a job .. Seriously ?!
Good Job for Starch and the British council, it was a great day indeed!