Basil Soda Takes America
If you don’t yet know the name Basil Soda, you soon will. This Beirut-based designer is gaining recognition all over the world for his beautiful designs and attention to detail. He’s making a short tour of the U.S. presenting his newest collection before returning to his beloved state-of-the-art “play- ground” in Lebanon.
With the release of his third collection, Basil Soda garments are making their way into U.S. shops all over the country. Soda’s ready to wear collection has a couture feel to it, while staying modern, feminine and sensible. This humble designer got his start working with designer Elle Saab, whom he still has good relations with, and considers a big brother. Soda gained experience, and after four years, felt he could go off on his own to begin working on his brand.
Though he has already seen great success with his previous collections, Soda never thinks he’s “made it.” “It’s an achievement for the Lebanese to be accepted in the fashion industry, but still, I don’t put myself in this mold because once you...believe in it, then you don’t move quickly, faster.” Soda says, “I have to keep moving, because my aim is to really create a story around the brand.”
“Now, fashion, the way we are seeing it, is not anymore only trend. It’s not only colors. It’s not cuts. It’s not volumes. It’s just a statement from a designer that [they] bring into the fashion industry, and this is how you recognize new brands. It’s not the color, or what you like, or what you don’t.”
His couture gowns have been popping up all over the red carpet lately. Marion Cotillard, Carla Gugino, Cheryl Cole, Dana Delany and Katy Perry are some of the many stars spotted wearing Basil Soda designs. “Red Carpet will always be our main exercise for the couture. This is where we feel it is giving us quite good visibility,” Soda says. “It is the fastest way to be seen; even the big fashion houses, this is what they are doing and what they are concentrating on.”
Basil Soda cites his inspirations for his collections coming from two sources: music and exhibitions, and, the most important, young people, and how they react to fashion. Soda says when it comes to fashion, one shouldn’t be too practical, and should have confidence to wear what one wants.
“You should love yourself; let’s say you’re tall, short, a brunette, a blonde, fat or skinny,” Soda says. “The first thing, you should love yourself, whatever it is. And when you love yourself, you can express more. You can be more confident about the things that you choose for yourself.”
Soda presented his collection at the René Moawad Foundation Gala at the Ritz Carlton on Nov. 10 to numerous gasps of awe and thunderous applause from the audience. He previewed 45 pieces from both the ready to wear and couture collections, creating a grand finale to an enjoyable gala.
“We need to reflect the good side about ourselves. To put a smile on.” Soda says, speaking on character. “This is what we need, this is why we are doing fashion, to be more happy, more relaxed, enjoying ourselves.
Earthy green hues of emerald, moss or loden can be evocative of a woodsy holiday. Forget what you may think about the Grinch-y color. Soda’s couture dress, from his fall collection, shows that a smoky green can be alluring and mysterious. More subtly glamorous, it’s a great alternative to red during the holiday season. Accesorize with these Kate Spade sunglasses ($128). Keep the cold out with an elegant fur collar from Brooks Brothers ($298), in keeping with an out- doorsy look.
Closets during this time of the year can seem like an inevitable black hole. This long wool skirt by Michael Kors is a versatile piece that can transition season to season. This purse by Banana Republic ($98) is a fun evening bag that is more playful than a more plain option. The dress is from Basil Soda’s Ready to Wear line.
Get on the bandwagon with Basil Soda’s breezy winter white dress. You can look like an ice queen with blinged-out acces- sories like these Manolo Blahnik pumps ($1,295) or Alexander Wang purse.
Soda’s look is ornate, modern and sultry. You can bring the same vibe to your tech accesso- ries and outerwear. This iPhone case by Banana Republic with card sleeves will keep you organized on the go, and this USB drive ring by Kate Spade is the most glam we’ve ever seen.
Outerwear is an important part of any winter wardrobe, and this Michael Kors coat is a great piece that will set you apart. With its assymetrical buttons and collar, it’s a modern coat in a traditional holiday color.