Vampires of beirut
And so it is summer in Beirut! The Skybarellas and Capitolists are on full power, ready to spend their GCC-stamped paychecks popping Moets and hopping from one rooftop bar to another. But who cares if a year's worth of salary earned in Dubai evaporates in a few hours, so long as you "grab somebody sexy tell em hey!" It is a quite an adventure, from one concrete jungle to another plastic jungle. They are the creatures of the night. They go around us in daytime, locked up to their Blackberrys and Cartier "Love" bracelets, flashing the latest Vilbrequin tropical prints (Just be careful they don't "ping" you!). Come nighttime, they have sucked up all the Red Bull in their sole mission to dance the night away. It is as if there is a virtual code to finding each other; a program they all stick to. Oh, everyone knows the program: sunset at Iris, dinner at Mama's, warm up at Capitale, pass by to say "hi" to your friends at Whiskey Mist - wait we haven't reached the good part yet - sneak your way up to Sky Bar, tally up the drinks at Pier 7, before you find yourself watching the sunrise at BO (skip "1B11 - it is sooo last century!). But before the birth of the so-called II Happy Nation, 11 there was a time in Beirut when nightlife had a genuine meaning. It was the 1990s - the time of short skirts and underground "Super Nightclubs" - we used to walk down the stairs, get blinded by the "crazy" lights, before we sipped a whole bottle of J&B on the rocks. Today, the whole focus shifted upwards - and I'm not just talking about the skirts - but instead of the stairs, we go up a lift, and instead of the crazy lights, we have people going crazy for the fireworks in the sky. It was a time before Facebooking replaced the art of 3-D conversation, when TV was our YouTube, and when Maria Mercedes was our Hanna Montana. We devoured on watching beauty pageants; "Miss Lebanon" was a national pride, yet today, it is believed that 1 in 5 girls in Lebanon holds a title. Before they became BBMos, they were Bimbos. Here is to the Bimbo Years!
After 32 years since the opening of his first shop in London’s Covent Garden, Paul Smith has built a global brand upon traditional notions of design with an unexpected pop twist that speaks to our time. At the event of a traveling exhibition showcasing his stamped objects in Beirut, Sir Paul talked to PLASTIK* about the mystery artist, his future collaborations, and how important it is to maintain the brand’s core philosophy in this ever-expanding market.