Amanda Gedeon lays much of her success to her faithful tailor who has been with her for 10 years.
'I think it's really important to accessorise'
Amanda Gedeon, the 23-year-old Dubai-based designer of the quirky label BOW reveals her life in fashion. Colour is what first inspires me. I walk into a shop and it's the first thing that attracts me. I am not afraid to go all out, over the top. I have always customised my own clothes and I like to be creative. Growing up in Dubai, you go out and see the same people wearing the same dresses, so it's the worst thing for me when I go somewhere and am wearing the same thing as someone else. I have two options: either spend a fortune on new clothes or switch it up and customise. What's really helped me is my tailor. He has been with me for 10 years and he knows exactly what I like. His name is Nassir. He will tell me if something looks cheap or not nice.
The first thing I went to my tailor with was my mom's vintage beach dress in lime, neon green. It had really ugly flowers on it and was really not happening, so I said, "I need it to look ultra cool". First we added a sequin panel down the front to make it more bold, but it still wasn't right so I ended up getting some neon thread and he did some neon orange stitching. It gave it more sharpness and it outlined my body. It's still in my closet. I will never let go of it.
In high school, I created prom dresses for two of my friends. I did my own dress and they liked my style, so we went to the material dress shop and explored and brainstormed until we got it right. I have colour sense - I think you are just born with it. I was very into dressing up as a child; I was a very girlie girl. And I always wanted to be the centre of attention. My late grandfather used to own a nightclub in Houston, and I was always the first one to dance. I was so young, maybe 10, and I was always wearing the bright colours and new shoes - I was obsessed with these pink shoes. And after a couple of years, my mom said: "Listen, you are done. Stop!" They didn't fit me any more, but I loved them.
I was born in New Orleans and lived between Dubai and Bahrain, but most of my teenage years were here. We have family in the States and in Lebanon, and I have been in American schools all my life. But here feels like home. My fashion sense came through when I was about 14. My parents never told me what to wear, but obviously, given the society we are in, they said don't wear it too short or too low - respect yourself. It's the way I grew up: to always respect myself.
The latest stuff that is really burning a hole in my pocket is Lanvin. It's stunning; I adore it. Alexander Wang, 3.1 Philip Lim and Hervé Léger are things I would love to wear one day. My first designer piece was a Juicy Couture bag; I was 12 or 13. It was baby pink towelling and I was so happy. I flaunted it: "Look, I have a designer bag. Wow, let's wear it out to dinner!" I would never do that now.
My favourite shoes are Louboutins. I can't live without them. I have ultra-high ones with a crazy platform at the front that are brown croc and match with everything. I love shoes and bags and bracelets. My dad says I get it from my aunt. I always have bracelets on, but you have to know how to balance it. If you wear too much it takes away from the whole look. I think it's really important to accessorise your outfits. I don't like matching. It's too much. I have to put a random bracelet on to mix it up.
I like vintage a lot - a cheap dress can look really good with vintage shoes. I bought stuff from thrift stores in New York for $5 (Dh18), so it doesn't have to be expensive - it's just tasteful. I love buying new stuff and I shop everywhere. As long as it looks good on me, that's all that counts. But I am a careless shopper sometimes - even if it's a ridiculous price, I'll buy it. My little black dress from Topshop is a wardrobe staple. I can put it on, add some earrings and heels, and it's done. It's classy. I can wear it with flats, shorten it with a belt, or put on pink earrings if I want to stand out. I am always up for surprise. I like to see people change it up all the time. I think change is really good for you.
BOW is available in at S*uce (Village Mall, Dubai, and Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi) and Soirée (Jumeirah Beach Rd, Dubai).