The elegant world of Viken Couture
December 05, 2003
Imagine a world filled with beauty, art, elegance, fashion and creativity. Imagine beautiful masterpieces paraded on the catwalk. Imagine a gorgeous gown designed especially for you. You’ve taken yourself to the world of Lebanese designer Viken.
Viken has loved design for as long as he can remember. It’s no surprise, given his childhood surrounded by art and a family that has produced several artists and interior designers. “When you’re born into such an environment,” he explained, “you’re used to grabbing the ideas and thoughts very quickly. I can mix different types of materials together, without it looking like patchwork.”
While Viken was growing up in Paris, he immersed himself in the world of fashion, searching for his path, his own personal style. And he found both. “I know what I like. I know what I want and I also know what’s expected of me,” he said.
For Viken, designing is an art and a realization of an instant of inspiration. Nothing specific inspires him. Sometimes he sees a table, a chair, a beautifully dressed woman… whatever it is, that stimulus brings inspiration like a sudden gust of wind and his creative juices flow to create another exquisite design.
Originality is essential to this creative soul, and Viken never imitates. That’s not to say, though, that he is totally unmoved by seasonal influences from the fashion world. “If I see that red is really in, for example, I might design something in red,” he explained. “Or if ‘short’ is in, I’ll follow the trend. But every person has his own view of things.”
So is there a distinctive Viken style? “Once you get used to me, and you follow my collections, you get to know my touch and you’ll soon discover that you can tell my designs apart from the rest,” Viken assured.
As for the future…
Viken has countless plans for the future, but finds that more immediate demands tend to dominate his calendar. “Whenever I finish one fashion show, my head begins working on the next,” he enthused.
But the establishment of a prêt-a-porter range is never far from his mind. Viken feels that the days of haute couture are numbered. “Haute couture is not in demand anymore,” he said. “People have changed… their way of life and their way of thinking has changed.”
But Viken has always been the same. “I’m a perfectionist, and although I seem to be a very quiet person, I’m not…” Viken said with a smile.
When Viken begins developing a new design for a client, the first step is to find out what she truly wants and needs. How does she feel when she sees herself in the mirror? “First, I get to know her and try to find out what she enjoys wearing,” explained Viken. “Naturally, I can’t make her wear something she doesn’t feel comfortable with.”
Viken’s client list includes international VIPs, but in the Middle East, it’s limited to private individuals. “I have many Arab clients throughout the Arab world,” he said, “but famous Arabs…? No. I still haven’t found the artist that should be wearing a Viken design.”
It will no doubt come as a great relief to many women who don’t fit the current fashion or fad to know that for Viken, timeless elegance far outweighs popular perceptions of beauty. “Anyone can become beautiful,” he explained, “but elegance is innate.”