Thursday June 20th, 2024
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Salim Azzam Unveils Whimsical Dancing Out of the Chrysalis Collection

The story starts at Chapter 8.

Mai El Mokadem

Lebanese designer Salim Azzam introduces "Chapter 8: Dancing Out of the Chrysalis," a collection inspired by his childhood fascination with dance and butterflies. Reflecting on the journey from chrysalis to butterfly, Azzam's designs embody transformation, resilience, and the beauty of returning to one’s authentic self. “As a child, I marvelled at their journey from chrysalis to flight, a symbol of profound change and resilience,” Azzam shares on Instagram.

The collection, a tribute to Azzam’s childhood sketches, celebrates the intricate patterns and delicate strength of butterfly wings. “It’s about how I had to let go of the ways I expressed myself, only to reclaim them when I dared to be myself,” he adds. Each piece in this chapter tells a story of evolution and self-discovery, merging childhood memories with artisanal craftsmanship.

Key pieces include the ‘Black Swallowtail’ silk velvet dress, embroidered with orange, metallic gold, and silver threads, and the "Tiger Swallowtail" shirt, featuring gradient yellow and black thread embroidery. “Butterflies fascinated me as a young designer and as a child; revealing the fierce yet fragile beauty of our earth through the light flight of their wings, their symmetrical beauty, and their quiet movements.” Gilded handmade buttons and headpieces amplify the collection’s fantastical charm, inspired by the delicate patterns of butterfly wings.

Anchoring this collection is the ‘Queen of the Night’ flower shirt, symbolising ephemeral beauty with its nocturnal bloom. “This piece reminds us to cherish life's transient moments, embodying a natural metaphor for fleeting beauty,” the designer explains. Azzam’s personal reflections and memories deeply influence the collection. The ‘Najwa’ blazer dress, embroidered with blue metallic threads and gold butterfly brooches, pays homage to his mother’s blue velvet abaya. “This look was inspired by my mother who as a kid encouraged me to dance and allowed me to move freely. My mother had a blue velvet abaya embroidered with gold threads that I loved dancing in.”

Each look is more mesmerising than the one before it, featuring intricate butterfly patterns, black silk, velvet, and gold thread embroidery. The pieces stand out with silhouettes like dramatic sleeves and sculpted waists. The colour palette, enriched with deep purples and royal blues, is a magical dance of nature embodied, with goldish yellows, oranges, and minty greens, anchored with base whites and blacks.

In ‘Dancing Out of the Chrysalis,’ the brand’s master artisans employ a variety of stitches and techniques, utilising metallic threads and hours of meticulous, dedicated work. This is evident in the ‘Woven Chrysalis’ suit, which showcases handmade smocking techniques, creating refined floral fabric textures. This collection is a journey inward. “It’s not a transformation in the traditional sense, but rather a return to your authentic self, your true purpose.”

“What will you return to?”