It was a show with a humanist angle. Charaf Tajer said he wanted to honor the brave youths who’ve remained in Damascus, Syria, and chosen to live their lives with joy despite the ongoing conflict and everyday dangers.
“I met them, I partied with them, they came from every level of society. They told me ‘thank you for not forgetting us,'” said the designer. The show set featured a multicolor checkerboard floor, and a fighter jet covered in pink flowers.
“I wanted to contrast war and love — and show the love taking over. This is a piece of theater inspired by courage from the war zone,” said Tajer.
Just like the checkerboard stage, this coed show was a carnival of color, ranging from a peppermint trouser suit to an Elvis-style sparkly jacket with red, green and yellow panels to a Liberace-esque white cape edged with sequins.
Other pieces had a more subdued, bourgeois allure. There was a little white tennis dress with black and peppermint stripes; an A-line minidress with white bow details and pearly buttons, and a lineup of ‘70s style suits with a Casablanca heart pattern.
Tajer said he was influenced by the colors of Damascus, which explained the ombré dresses in sunset shades, one long and sheer with statement sleeves, the other short with heart cutout at the front. There was even a bit of embroidered ombré denim in the mix.
The sparkly, belted checkerboard coats and heavy-duty sequined embellishments could be blinding at times and the show was far too long (and an hour late in starting), but Tajer got his message across. He urged the audience to think again about Syria and its people 12 years after civil war began, and whipped up a handful of sweet looks, too.