Meet Christelle Khouri, a natural born fashionista who shares her passion for all things travel and style on her Instagram, giving the stylish woman ideas on day-to-day looks. Christelle appreciates everything and anything “beautiful”, may it be through music, art or fashion. Being a frequent traveler, Christelle has lived in all kinds of magical locales including Beirut, Paris, Doha and New York. In true global citizen style, Christelle holds dual citizenship from France and Lebanon.
Currently residing in the Emirate of Dubai, a place where east meets west featuring one of the most steadfast fashion and retail sectors globally. Dubai has become the perfect haven for Christelle to receive inspiration and in return inspire fashionable ladies everywhere who share her love for fashion as a means of self-expression. Read on as we talk to Christelle about her love for fashion as well as her exciting life as a world traveler.
What is the inspiration for your unique style?
“Having been brought up between Europe and the Middle East, I find my mélange in upbringing has really shaped my style and the way I perceive and embody fashion. It’s the French simplicity, that little bit of chic, which is complemented by the boldness and intricacy of the Middle Eastern patterns.
Also, despite fashion trends being highly inspired by the looks on Fashion Weeks’ runways, I don’t believe that clothes have to be expensive to look expensive (and stylish of course). That’s why my blog serves as a little guide on how to make high-street fashion look high-end, and the key is accessorizing well! I sometimes “invest” in designer shoes or bags, but you will find that most (if not all) my clothes are high-street.
I’m always amused at friends and people’s reactions when they find out where I actually bought my clothes from, and how I paired the whole outfit together – which is what pushed me to actually start the blog in the first place. I try to make it as reachable as possible: if you like it, you can go and get it today, and you (hopefully) won’t have to pay and arm and a leg for it.
To cut a long story short, I don’t think that one style defines me. Yes, I would describe my style as classic and feminine with a twist, but I normally dress depending on my mood and current street styles that inspire me.”
Talk me through a day in your life.
“I’m someone who loves mornings, and sunny Dubai definitely helps! Getting ready for work, as ordinary as it may seem, is something I truly enjoy. It gives me the energy and sets the tone for the rest of the day. The latter never starts without a much-needed espresso, followed by my skincare routine, after which I choose my outfit (favorite part), do my hair and makeup and I’m ready to go. Despite having a corporate job, no day in the office is like the other, especially when I instantly dive in the world of beauty and cosmetic at L’Oréal.
After work, I either have dinner or drinks with friends, attend corporate PR events or go home and work on a post.
I’m always excited about the weekend because this is when I really have the time and opportunity to create content for the blog. I normally do photo shoots in different locations with several outfits to post the following week, meet with young designers for future collaborations or simply research strategies on how to improve the blog.
It can be challenging to have only limited time to work on the blog, but loving what I do definitely helps and makes it a whole lot of fun!”
What are you currently inspired by?
“In my case, it’s who I’m currently inspired by: Olivia Palermo.
Yes, her outfits may be on the more ‘pricey end’, but I feel that she really embodies elegance with a twist. Her ability to mix color and print while making it look effortlessly chic is extremely inspiring. She keeps up with trends yet maintains this classic, feminine and timeless look which I can very much relate to. In fact, as much as I am inspired by current trends and street styles, if I don’t think that the “must-have” for this season is in line with my personal style, you will never see me wearing it.”
What are some of your favorite clothing brands at the moment?
“I absolutely adore Victoria Beckham’s designs, especially her monochrome looks. While her collections have evolved over the past few years from short and playful dresses to oversized wide-legged trousers, there is always one common thread which can be found when describing the Victoria Beckham woman: her fierceness. Can’t wait to try her layering techniques spotted on the 2017 Fall/Winter runway.
When it comes to high-street, most of my wardrobe comes from Zara, so it’s safe to say that it’s one of my favorite high-street brands at the moment, along with Topshop and Mango”
What do you enjoy most about your role at L’Oréal, did you always aspire for a career in the cosmetic industry?
“Given my love for fashion, most people first assume that I work in Marketing for L’Oréal, when I actually work as a Financial Controller. At the end of the day, our favorite brands would not survive if they weren’t financially profitable, and that’s what my main role at L’Oréal is: actively partnering with marketing teams to ensure that brands are lucrative, so that you can not only find the products you like in store, but also benefit from the newest and most innovative ones. By being in Dubai, I am by default led to work in a very diverse environment – 48 different nationalities to be exact. We all learn from one another on both a personal and professional level, and new ideas are always brought to the table.
What I enjoy most about my role at L’Oréal is working side by side with teams of brilliant people who continuously work on introducing the best of cosmetics innovation. This constant desire to keep up with current trends can have its challenges, but is quickly overruled by the rush of working in a fast-paced environment: no day is like the other and you always have to be reactive and ready to go – with one mission in mind: “Beauty for all!”.
I also must add that loving the brands and products I work for does make it easier, although I didn’t necessarily aspire for a career in the cosmetic industry. I however always knew that I wanted to work in beauty, in whichever form it takes: fashion, cosmetic etc. I believe that every woman should feel beautiful. A woman who feels beautiful will feel good about herself, and there’s nothing more appealing than a confident woman!”
Being a frequent traveler, what have been some of your favorite destinations and why?
“Tough question! I love traveling and each country is unique in its culture, climate, history, landscape, gastronomy and people. But if I had to choose my top 3, I’d choose: Cappadocia (Turkey), Cancun (Mexico) and Paris (France). I had already been to Turkey (Marmaris, Bodrum and Istanbul). I definitely loved each of these unique cities but Cappadocia was by far the most magical in my eyes. I actually first came across pictures of Cappadocia on Instagram, and I remember thinking that this couldn’t be a real place; this photo must have been photo-shopped.
I then decided that my next holiday destination would be to Cappadocia, and believe me it’s still hard to put into words how fascinating I thought the place is. The natural landscape, volcanic peaks and chimney-rock formations are unlike anything I’ve seen. The experience of sleeping in a cave hotel was just incredible, but the cherry on top of the cake was the sunrise hot air balloon ride, where I found myself staring at the real-life picture I had once seen on Instagram.
Cancun needs no introduction. Definitely a great place to party and let loose but that’s not why I fell in love with this city. The second you arrive to Cancun, you immediately feel like you’ve just landed on a tropical island. Palm trees, jungles and greenery surround you; white sand beaches and crystal clear waters also adding to the magic.
While it’s very common to stay in all-inclusive resorts, there’s so much to discover in Cancun: the famous Chichen Itza and Mayan history, beautiful caves and lagoons where you can swim and snorkel, and most importantly, interactions with the sweet locals who taught more about their culture than any book I had ever read. Cancun has it all: rich history, parties and beautiful scenery!
And finally, the best for last: Paris. I might be a little biased since I was born and lived in Paris, but this city simply stole my heart. Every time I go back to Paris and step out of my doorstep, I feel like I’m a tourist discovering it for the first time: my five senses are awakened and ready to be blown away by the beauty of this city. I seriously feel like I’m in a living museum. Any picture I take from any angle looks like it’s out of a post card.
What I enjoy most is getting lost in tiny paved pathways in the Marais and finding hidden treasures in local boutiques, arousing my taste buds at the “café trottoirs” or having a glass of wine by the Seine.
Paris lives up to its reputation: the City of love, light and a certain je ne sais quoi.”
Favorite Restaurant in Beirut & Dubai?
“Beirut has an amazing selection of restaurants offering all kinds of cuisines but my favorite Restaurant in Beirut is “Em Sherif”. I always take my foreign friends, choose the set menu and make sure we all go on an empty stomach. I don’t allow myself not to taste literally everything they serve me. From the authentic and delicious Lebanese food to the elegant atmosphere and décor, one can never go wrong with Em Sherif!
Dubai is known to host the most lavish and luxurious restaurants in the world, but my favorite is a cute bistro offering traditional French cuisine: “Tolosa”. I recently discovered this restaurant and it quickly jumped to 1st place in my favorites list. At Tolosa, I can close my eyes, pick anything on the menu, and rest assured that I will enjoy every single bite from the entrées to the dessert. What’s also special about this place is this couch area where I normally either enjoy coffee or a glass of wine while playing board games with my friends. Tolosa is a taste of home away from home.”
Where to next?
“My work schedule has without a doubt made it challenging to create content for the blog as regularly as I would want, but I definitely plan on putting in place a clear strategy on the direction I want the blog to take. I will try as much as possible to post more consistent and relevant content to hopefully keep inspiring women on their daily looks and styles. On the long-term, I hope that the blog, along with my experience at L’Oréal, would allow me to put my name out in the fashion industry: maybe become a personal stylist and/or create my own brand. Who knows? In all cases, as cliché as it may sound, my passion is fashion & beauty, so it’s the only industry I see myself in.”
Where can we follow you?
“You can follow me on instagram @christellekhouri where I try to post as regularly as possible.”