“It is a bit risqué,” said Mr.B, weighing the pros and cons of an eight-month-old idea.
“To dedicate a whole spread to a local artist, much less a cover feature for the Christmas issue!” As always his apprehension was explainable. But at the top of the editor-in-chief’s worries was the challenge in finding one artist in this country who appeals to the masses and yet whose image does not conflict with the vision of the magazine.
And since we, the Lebanese, are not exactly the biggest fans of us, the risk is multiplied by four. To start with, the Plastik* reader enjoys a certain standard that the team was apt to maintain throughout the past issues, and it would be unjust were we to tarnish that luxury. But bearing in mind what the readers expect from us is not the biggest hitch.
“We are a bit too harsh on ourselves; we throw away ideas like there is no tomorrow for others to pick them up, ignoring our potential in turning a whiff of the imagination into a product of dreams,” concluded Mr. B at the point of making a decision in this dilemma. And it is with his very words that we decided to approach the issue:
The power to dream beyond the picket fences built by our society.
The formula was easy. We pretended to be taking the SATs and swaying before the multiple choices of a rather difficult question:
To meet our potential candidate, what would be the most significant attribute that makes her eligible to be on the Plastik* cover?
A.She has a stamp of approval from countries other than Lebanon and the Arab region.
B.She is not a trashy “slashie” (e.g. previous model/singer, singer/actress, title-holder/ singer, model/TV presenter…)
C.She always manages to pull off the “I’m-bored-and-better-than-you” look, but never fails to use it responsibly.
D.She is 100% Plastik*
E. All of the above.
And so, our obvious choice was E – as in Elissa.
The day of the shoot, Lebanese singing sensation Elissa showed up on time, looking stunningly casual in Dolce and Gabbana (of course!) silk boxing sweat pants from the BOXE line, a matching white top, a vintage Balenciaga Paddington bag, and a Missoni cardigan – just in case. And just when I thought that she must have left her infamous diva tantrums at home, she looked at me and said, “I don’t mind to wait, just as long as I’m doing something!” After two and a half hours of preparation time (ok, my bad!), came the moment of truth: how would you style a woman whose walk-in wardrobe at home even Carrie Bradshaw would kill to have? Thanks to our fitting session from the late night before, Elissa opted for three exquisite looks from a wide selection. She looked dashing in a Lanvin black lace-ruffles dress, flirtatious in an Oscar de la Renta tutu number, and radiant in a white empire-waisted Marchesa.
The moment she was joined by the other characters in the story, Mr.B’s doubts were put to an end. The set was turned into a festive extravaganza with everyone having an early merry Plastik* Christmas. Elissa herself emerged as a true heroine. She was a constant motivation for everyone on the set who literally looked up to her as the fairy Godmother she appeared to be.
And just as we started to drift away in that fairytale of the lonely princess and her imaginary friends, the photographer’s “It’s a wrap!” echoed through the walls of the vast mansion. As Elissa got prepared to run off to her next adventure, I asked her opinion of the shoot. She had a glow in her eyes followed by her signature one-sided dimply smile and, of course, her trademark,
“It’s ok, tanks! ”®
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