This page may take some time to load; we opt for hi-res images that take their sexy time to appear.

Instagram Feed

25 January 2015

It's clearly swimming weather


I'm not a fashion blogger for various reasons, the most obvious being my tendency to favor comfort over style. Another reason is, I really don't know how to write about fashion without using the word 'fashion' everywhere, but I'm about to pop the cherry and try.

By Dina Khalifé

I get really bothered by the monotony in jewelry around here. I sometimes wonder how a bazillion jewelry designers are profiting when they're all creating the same designs. 

The neon phase. 
The rugged silver (?) phase. 
The Indian full-hand ring phase, whatever it's called. 
The freakishly positive LiveLoveBeirut phase. 
Care to add any? 

While trends are a thing worldwide, in Lebanon there is always ONE trend and not much else. It's unfortunate, it kills opportunity for the creativity others offer.

No one's killing Dina Khalifé's opportunities, though. On the contrary, she's established a very successful brand equipped with a stunning brand identity. Then again, she's based in Madrid and her customers appear to be Worldwide. 

I don't know where to start with her designs - whether her clothing or jewelry. 

Her brand is quirky, it's fun, it tells a story. You browse through the items. Some 5 minutes later, you're attached to her swimmers (i.e. Mr. and Mrs. Naiman) and find yourself checking out with everything in your shopping cart (OK, I'm currently broke, but I foresee this situation soon).

The scarves: how do they look exactly like drawings? Isn't the texture of the scarf supposed to distort the image to some extent? It doesn't! The drawings look exactly the way I imagine they would appear on paper. HOW? Dina Khalifé knows her textiles very, very well, and you'll see what I mean in the images from her lookbook below.

The jewelry: the best thing since sliced bread. Cuteness overload. 

Enjoy her playground. 



By Dina Khalifé

By Dina Khalife

By Dina Khalife

By Dina Khalife

By Dina Khalife

By Dina Khalife

By Dina Khalife

By Dina Khalife

By Dina Khalife

By Dina Khalife

By Dina Khalife

By Dina Khalife

By Dina Khalife

By Dina Khalife

By Dina Khalife

By Dina Khalife

By Dina Khalife
Via Instagram 

Shop all items on DinaKhalife.com




B


All images on Bananapook are copyrighted material and all rights are reserved to the respective owners.


Blogger Tricks


18 January 2015

Lebanon-inspired eye candy by Charles Kalpakian


Cinetisme by Charles Kalpakian



I'm not new to Pinterest, but I've been appreciating it more recently.

Like all of you, I've done the 'Lebanon' search to see what pinners have been lusting on. My results: besides the images of Saifi's color fiesta and the glorious, colorful Gemmayze stairs by the Dihzahyners, I came across Charles Kalpakian.

It was obsession at first sight, which isn't always the case with me and design. I'm a big fan of angular designs and he's mastered his sharp edges. I just regret discovering him this late in life, but alas.

Rocky by Charles Kalpakian
Rocky
A credenza featuring an angular and sculptural line
100% stainless steel
Born in Lebanon in 1982, Charles' work is highly inspired by Lebanon, France (where he now resides) and street art. In fact, many of his products are titled using Arabic words, including "Saida" (woohoo!) and "Ahlan".

I contacted Charles to ask him about his work, and to my greatest delight, he got back to me.


B: "Furniture designer", "lighting engineer," or "artist," - which do you think describes you best?


Charles Kalpakian: I have chosen a hybrid approach and i explore all the variation of our work. Product Designer is the right description, because i need constraint to built a project and not the artist.

I like to find new solutions for a product, go back to see factories, the producers and the makers. A product need a good process to become something useful.

Wallshadows by Charles Kalpakian
Wall sha-dows
Graphic composition texture illuminated by LED
Latticework of the game of chiaroscuro
Wallshadows by Charles Kalpakian
Wall sha-dows
Wallshadows by Charles Kalpakian
Wall sha-dows

Favorite material to work with?

I work on mixing material, try to create a family of material not specially one. I think about how materials can live together in a same objets, like brothers and sisters. I don't want to use a material because it's the trend now; I work a global way for a product, what is best answer for this project.

Are you organic or geometric?

My work is based on different world of geometric, I take aspects of both and blends them to create something new and contemporary. So i try to reappropriating Orientalism.

Cine-tisme by Charles Kalpakian
Ciné-tisme
Materials: corian and wood
A meeting between street art and Op'art,
scientific phenomenon of bistability disorder of perception


Cine-tisme by Charles Kalpakian

Which one of your pieces would you consider your favorite?

The candy box for Habitat; they look like little houses in an Eastern village, structural and the same time powerful, colorful and energizing shapes. They are boxes for the welcoming and happiness in a house.

Candy Box by Charles Kalpakian
Candy Box for Habitat
Painted Wood


How has Lebanon influenced your work? Some works are titled using Arabic words. Is this a tribute to your roots?

Fascination of calligraphy, Middle East living, the crafts, the landscapes and to don't forgot the food. The Arabic names are poetic and very narrative.


Saida by Charles Kalpakian
Saida
Material: Faience
Inspired by the sails of Felouks shaped by the wind.
The organic shells with geometric shapes adorn to
the color palette of Mediterranean landscapes

Ahlan by Charles Kalpakian
Ahlan
The oriental influences get involved in the modernity of lines,
letting the light of the South through the panels
Cedar Lamp
Materials: lacquered steel, wood, mirrors, LEDs
Cedar Folding Screen
Material: metal

Do you think opportunities are richer in Paris or Beirut?

For the moment I live and work Paris, but my projects are across the world . I see the new art scene very powerful in Beirut and I would like to be a part of it, to make my contribution.

Moon
Materials: wood structure, ebony feet, and Kvadrat upholstery
Contemporary reinterpretation of the major classics from the 50's 
Moon by Charles Kalpakian
Moon

Is there any Lebanese artist that you would particularly enjoy collaborating with?

I know david/nicolas, Carwan Gallery and SMO Gallery but I don't know artists well, maybe you can help me?

2TUBES
Material: aluminium equipped with with an opal polycarbonate lens

2TUBES

Would you consider bringing your work to Lebanon, or making it available for purchase here?

I work on it with my dealers in Europe and hope soon in 2015.



For more delights, visit Charles Kalpakian's website.

On Instagram

On Twitter



B




14 January 2015

Mind-Blowingly realistic miniatures of Lebanese homes




Unfortunately we're seeing less and less of the traditional Lebanese home. Luckily, there are tremendous efforts to preserve and pay tribute to Lebanese architecture, including those of Chawki Yazbeck.

Chawi Yazbeck art

The above work isn't an actual window; it's a decorative, handcrafted work by Chawki. It's a little over 1 meter in height, similar to a standard painting in size. 

chawki yazbeck art

Chawki starts by carving away and sculpting a piece of wood, and embellishing it with acrylic, modeling paste, and plenty of other craft materials. 

I came across his works a few years back in the permanent Jbeil exhibition in the souks (before I started blogging) and was shocked by how intricate his works are. 

Chawki tells me he got into creating his miniature works while sculpting a grotte for Christmas. With the remaining wood, he created a small miniature house and equipped it with its accompanying furniture. 

Never before has a Lebanese craftsman created something even remotely similar. At least, I've never seen it. In fact, with the exception of movies - I rarely see any miniature 3D works anymore anywhere. Naturally, I'm excited to finally feature his work.

Chawki Yazbeck Art

Impressed is an understatement in describing my sentiments. His work require patience and an overwhelming attention to detail, which, in my humblest of opinions, has become quite rare in modern and contemporary art. There's a respect that I will always owe to those who dedicate a huge chunk of their time to a single piece of work.

chawki yazbeck art

"I've been working for a long time but as a profession it's been around 10 years. For my work, I use mixed media such as wood, a special kind of paste, iron, copper, plexiglass, cloth, and acrylics - using techniques that are difficult to explain."


Chawki Yazbeck Art
Look closely. See that room on the left? Now observe the next photo.
chawki yazbeck art
Detailed Miniature Interior
chawki yazbeck art
Detailed Miniature Exterior


chawki yazbeck art
Detailed Miniature Interior
Chawki Yazbeck Art
Detailed Miniature Interior

"I think what's beautiful about Lebanese architecture is mainly the high lengths of doors and windows with arches drawn above them."


"In addition to the combination of windows and plant-boxes which is very unusual, it makes it special and testifies to the Lebanese people's love of flowers."


chawki yazbeck art


Check out Chawki Yazbeck's Facebook page to keep up with and support his work. He will be exhibiting at Surajkund Crafts Mela 2015 in New Delhi, India. If happen to be an Indian reader, be sure to pass by.

Create, appreciate,

B