George Azzi and Assaad Osta of the Beirut-based couture house Azzi & Osta learned their trade in Elie Saab’s atelier – training that would’ve come in handy when it came to dressing Beyoncé for the Clive Davis pre-Grammy Gala in honour of Jay Z, we would imagine. “Elie Saab is a master of the female silhouette. We learned from him that the celebrity should shine in her dress and not the other way round – the woman comes ﬁrst, the dress complements,” the design duo tells Grazia. Judging by the dramatic black silk-crepe and net ﬁshtail gown, Elie taught them well.
Beyoncé’s black leather beret was a nod to the inspo behind this look – the anti-racist Black Panther movement that started in the ’60s. “We designed this look with the idea of highlighting Beyoncé’s amazing ﬁgure and mixing sophistication with edge, however the real challenge was to translate the harsher revolutionary spirit of the theme into an Azzi & Osta couture gown, keeping both the femininity and elegance of a gala dress, and of course staying true to the identity of the house, and Beyoncé’s image.”
The gown took over 300 hours to make, with the entire atelier working on it from a week before the event. The couturiers were “honoured, proud, happy and thrilled beyond imagination” with the results. “It is minimalistic, elegant, and has a modern approach to the classical silhouette but with the sculptural, unconventional volumes that are the essence of the identity of the brand, while, of course, showing the right amount of skin.”
Having been inundated with messages of support after their creation for Beyoncé broke the internet, Azzi & Osta have big plans for 2018. First on the agenda? A ready-to-wear line. “And more red-carpet moments,” they add. World domination awaits.