After completing her bachelor degree of Advertising and Marketing in Beirut, Mariane Bechara headed to Milano to explore the world of fashion design – starting a fruitful journey filled with elegance and glamour. She translated her vision of the modern woman through dresses she wore herself and made her dream a reality.
After a series of internships in several Couture houses, she launched her eponymous Couture brand in 2017. Her stunning designs gained her a big celebrity following, and Carla Haddad’s wedding dress was the cherry on the cake. Azyaamode got the opportunity to interview the Lebanese designer and dive deeper into her interesting bridal world.
As a female Lebanese designer, how do you infuse the gowns with your touch while keeping in mind the requirements of the wearer?
My number one priority as a designer is to personally understand the bride’s wants and needs as soon as I meet her. I try to put myself in her shoes by getting a small peek into her bridal world and mix her ideas with my expertise. And that’s exactly where my job starts – giving out my personal opinion and balancing my ideas with hers to make every single aspect of the wedding as best as it can be. My aim is to get her to the D-Day looking as splendid as a bride can be, feeling like she can literally conquer the world with her dress.
What is the process you follow with the bride-to-be to make sure that her gown looks just like she imagines it?
A custom-made bridal gown is the best of both worlds – it’s unique, detail-oriented, specifically curated for the bride and is exactly what she needs. It’s also the perfect opportunity for her to own a gown that fits her like a glove and that is ultimately catered to her. To top it all off, the bridal journey at MARIANE BECHARA is as dreamy as it can get. I personally do my very best to make it that way. It all starts with a series of ideas that we brainstorm, ideas that evolve into a sketch and then come alive in the form of a sample. It’s when the bride tries on the “toile” – also known as the first sample of the dress – that all the changes are made and it’s hence where we take one step closer towards her vision. By doing so, I make sure she is able to picture her dream gown from the get-go. Thankfully, the outcome has always been better than we’ve ever imagined it.
How do you help the bride-to-be choose the right dress?
My number one priority is to make her feel special on her wedding day. And so in order to do that, I try as best as I can to be as meticulous and thorough in the design-making phase. But first things first, I examine her body type, her skin tone and the color palette of every single fabric – because it’s important to note that every skin tone has its own matching colors. Once we take note of these specifics, we also make sure to keep in mind many other factors, from her own personal style to which assets she would like to highlight and how to hide her less-favorable ones. It’s when I see the bride-to-be feeling her best that I know that I truly did my job.
What sets Mariane Bechara’s wedding gowns apart?
Designing wedding gowns is the absolute favorite part of my job. I’m usually very resolute about my ultimate goal. And in this particular case, I bend over backwards to create show-stopping and unforgettable gowns. The ones that create huge momentum and make the bride feel more than flawless wearing them. My aim is to truly make the bride as extraordinary and remarkable as ever. And thankfully, we’ve always succeeded to create that particular effect.
Tell us about your way in reinterpreting this season’s trends.
Instilling the signature insignias of the brand in every single piece I create is something I strongly believe in. Indeed, throughout the different collections, I’ve made sure that my signature items are always present yet forever evolving.
The evolution combines the season’s newest trends with my staple pieces, creating the perfect combination of what the MARIANE BECHARA woman would wear. At the end of the day, it’s all about making sure the spirit of my brand is represented in the best way possible.
Besides wedding gowns, do you also design headpieces?
I design custom-made headpieces that accompany the wedding gowns I create. It’s my own personal way of adding a special touch to a bride’s final look and it’s usually very much in line with the bride’s dress. At the end of the day, it’s always a small accessory that can make or break an outfit and so I make sure that our special touch is in fact the game-changer.
Lately, all the rage was about Carla Haddad’s wedding gown. How was the creative procedure?
It was such a smooth and lovely process! Carla is such a beautiful person inside and out and I personally enjoyed every single step of the procedure. The minute she stepped foot in the Atelier, she said “I trust you blindly, make your magic happen” and I automatically knew what to design for her. I listened carefully to her wishes considering the fact that the gown should be fit for a small and intimate ceremony. This particular dress flourished with every tiny detail, as it took over 200 hours of intricate work to create something that was both humble yet extremely delicate. The “extra special” statement characteristic that I personally insisted on adding was the fact that it was a see-through dress, which charmingly unveiled her leggy silhouette as she made her way down the aisle. There was also some sort of decadence in the way the ruffles were carefully placed, as they perfectly traced down her body without overwhelming her figure, and were diversified in terms of sizes and themes. Some were covering a base of dotted tulles while others were covering more classic ones. The headpiece was also very much in line with the spirit of the gown, as it was created from the fabric of the dress and topped off with a veiled crochet that elevated the look in all the right ways.
I am extremely grateful for my team and for all the hard work they put into the design of this look, as it goes to show that together we can make magic happen and curate the dress of a bride’s dream.
What’s next for Mariane Bechara?
For me, every waking day brings new goals. I have a lot of plans in mind for the future and I firmly believe that with perseverance, patience and hard work we will power through and hopefully make great things happen. I am grateful for everything coming our way and I welcome change and growth with arms wide open.
Article Written by Mirella Haddad