The National - News - Luxury - - THE BLACK BOOK -

This month’s fash­ion shoot is set in the lit­tle-known Tripoli In­ter­na­tional Fair­ground, which was de­signed by Brazil­ian mod­ernist ar­chi­tect Os­car Niemeyer, but aban­doned in 1975 when civil war broke out in Le­banon. A vast park filled with free- stand­ing, sculp­tural build­ings made from Niemeyer’s sig­na­ture re­in­forced con­crete, it stands as a sur­real sym­bol of Le­banon’s grand pre-war dreams and post­war eco­nomic stag­na­tion.

Set amid a square kilo­me­tre of land­scaped gar­dens, close to the cen­tre of Tripoli, are a the­atre, he­li­pad, space mu­seum, bowl­ing al­ley, a vast but gen­tly curv­ing ex­hi­bi­tion hall, an out­door con­cert space, a pav­il­ion fea­tur­ing el­e­gant Is­lamic arches, and a cylin­dri­cal tower con­tain­ing a ro­tat­ing restau­rant, from which jets of wa­ter would have sprayed into a sur­round­ing pool. All of which cre­ated a fas­ci­nat­ing and won­der­fully eerie back­drop to our shoot (page 36).

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