Monday, December 12, 2011

Little DEEsigns

A new creative tendency has emerged in Lebanon's trendy scene: baby fashion.

Lebanese designers have already been recognized internationally for their contributions in haute couture and that for a while now, but other designing areas are also growing, establishing new markets widely appreciated and acclaimed for their outstanding qualities. 

Stylish labels for children are launching collections and boutiques all around town and as a new mom I cannot help but be super excited about all those wonderful local creations popping up everywhere!


One of these boutiques is none other than DEE Little, by creator Dina Sway. 

So who is Dina Sway?
I'm a Lebanese Designer who created a brand called DEE Little, fabricating stylish trendy clothes for kids.

What inspired you to get into fashion? And why did you decide to focus on children wear in particular?
I used to customize Tshirts for myself, but when my cute niece was born I got inspired and thought of creating a line for cute kids. (smile)

If you had not been a designer, what would you have turned into?
I started as a graphic designer and turned to be a fashion designer, so I think design and artistic ideas are my only concern.

Your label is called DEE Little. Does the little Dina inside of you have a say in your creations?
Honestly I think yes, because most of the times I do things I love to wear as a little Dina. (smile)

What does it mean to be a designer in Lebanon? How does it affect your thinking and creative process?
In Lebanon, design attracts a big part of the population, and this was the main motivation I got from my customers. Their reactions encourged me to add all my senses in my creations and to try to give them the trendiest and cutest design items.

How do you select colors, shapes, themes and fabrics when designing a collection?
The colors I usually use are what kids like the most. I combine delicate fabrics so that it's soo soft for kids, with subtle and distinctive details. The other things depend on the inspirations. (smile)

How long does it take to come up with a new vision and ultimately a new collection? What is the creative process you go through? Do you get inspired by life around you? Music? Movies? Exhibitions? Or books you have read?
I'm continuously thinking and imagining what might come up, and sometimes a design just pops up so quickly. (smile) I get inspired from life, from kids and exhibitions.

Tell us a little about DEE Little. What is the label's identity and particularities?
DEE Little is a stylish and original clothes line for children. It is a smart and comfortable range of clothing for babies and kids ranging from 3 months to 10 years. All our collection of bodies, dresses, T-shirts, shorts or trousers, combine delicate fabrics with subtle and distinctive details. Your child will look unique wearing Dee's original designs. And the unique concept is that you can find matching tops for mother-daughter, and father-son.

How was DEE Little perceived and received by the local market when you first introduced it? Do you feel this first impression has evolved and how?
At first I started introducing my items in exhibitions and in some design shops and the impressions of people were so encouraging that it lead me to start building my own shop. And from 2008 until now things are evolving so quickly and customers are loving my unique items.

Where are the clothes manufactured?
In Lebanon.

What does the future hold for DEE Little?
Hopefully a bright one with lots of creations and branches in other countries.

Where are our points of sale? Can customers outside of Lebanon purchase your designs?
In lebanon, our shop is located in Sodeco Sqaure, ground floor 01-422890. And soon outside Lebanon.

A few words, just for fun...

If you were a color, which would you be?

If you were a fabric?
Cotton and Jeans.

If you were a movie?
If you were a song?
You Sang To Me by Marc Anthony.

If you were a fruit or a flower?
DEE Little's flower. (smile)

Since you design for children, if you were a fictional character, which would you be?  
The Simpsons (smile) and Lulu w'Tabbouch (Little Lulu). (smile)

DEE Little on Facebook

Mamma Mia

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Motor City a du Caractère*

*Motor City has attitude

So I am back in Dubai since last night. It has been bitter-sweet to say the least, considering I have had to leave Mia in Beirut and travel alone. I am glad I get to see hubby and even spend some quality time with him, but let's face it, life with Mia simply rocks. And right now, life sucks. 

Why did I leave Mia if I am such a miserable soul without her? Well, I had no choice. Obviously. 

My residency expired and I must be in the country to apply for a new one (I cannot even renew anymore). And with Number 2 taking up more and more space in my belly, and me enjoying the fact that I am not nauseated and vomiting all the time, i.e. eating like there's no tomorrow, I am getting bigger and bigger. And the bigger I get, the less easy it is for me to hold, feed, bathe or care for Mia. Especially all by myself since my mom cannot join me in Dubai; she has to take care of her son, my dear baby brother, who got badly injured playing basketball. 

And with hubby busy at work, and this house so empty it hardly feels like a home, I have had to get out. Or go insane. It is a simple formula: me + empty home = endless crying. 

So today, I drove to the nearest studio and took a few photos for my residency application form, then walked around Motor City and went back home for a bite.

Again, in the afternoon, I could not possibly stand the silence in that house, so I left once more. This time I planned a longer and more relaxing outing.

I went to Caractère, the ladies beauty salon at Motor City.

A review, you ask?
Sure, why not!

From the outside, looking through the narrowest entrance door ever, the salon seems minuscule! And indeed, when you get in, you step into the tiniest waiting room ever. But then, they open a magic door for you, and just like Alice, you are led into a huge Wonderland, where all the hair, manicure and pedicure fun is happening.  

First of all, and I cannot but start with that, the staff is so friendly and helpful. That alone is reason enough to come back another time.

Secondly, I got to meet the nicest girl there. She took care of my waxing, my manicure and my facial! And she is really good at all three. Her name is Hayat, be sure to ask for her whenever she is available.

We started with what is supposed to be the most painful: waxing. I really rarely feel pain and today was no exception so we were done in about 5 minutes.

Then we moved on to the manicure station, chose a color and proceeded with all the cleaning, cutting, shaping and whatsoever nail related activities during which we had a nice chat. But not too much which was perfect because I really hate it when people force conversations on me.

And finally, off the the grand finish: the facial. There are various kinds available and I chose the moisturizing set which I discovered included eyebrows shaping and upper-lip hair removal. The cleaning and massaging felt really good and I was also left with a mask for 15 minutes.

Damage for the day (as hubby may ask)?

I was billed for 415 Dirhams in total:
  • Wax (under arm): AED 30
  • Wax (half arm): AED 35
  • Manicure: AED 50
  • Facial-Moisturizing: AED 300   

You can find the complete rate card on their website.

All in all, it was a good experience, for fair prices in Dubai. I managed to spend some time outside of the house, all the while being pampered, so I can honestly say Caractère was a win-win for me today. 

I am testing their haircare services this Friday; already booked an appointment for blow-dry in the morning. I hope I will be as pleased as I ended up today. 

If you would like to book an appointment, call +971.4.4572985 or visit the salon at Fox Hill 9, Shop No R01, Uptown Dubai Motor City (right next door to Kidville). 

It is worthwhile mentioning to all the guys out there that Caractère also has a gents' salon (+971.4.4370160) at Uptown Motor City.

Mamma Mia

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