Model Citizen: Marie Khouri
June 18, 2014
Artist Marie Khouri was born in Egypt and raised in Lebanon, then spent decades in Paris working as a translator then a financier before enrolling, on a whim, in drawing classes at the Ecole du Louvre. It turned out drawing wasn't her calling: after the instructor handed her a mound of clay, she knew she would need size and space to create. Ironic, maybe, to then leave that creative mecca for Vancouver to realize her own sense of style, but "the scale here, in nature, in landscape, gave me wings," says the sculptor. "I was truly awakened." Khouri's unconstrained, fluid work pushes the boundaries of scale while her everyday dress code is less outsized. Classic black-yet, like her work, simple and sophisticated.
Name one thing in your closet you could never throw away. Any of my vintage purses.
What designer do you love the most? I love Dries van Noten for the fabulous fabrics, beading and embroideries; Balenciaga for their cuts; Dsquared for their jeans.
Name one unusual item in your fridge. Cedar branches to keep fresh for my weavings.
What do you derive unexpected inspiration from? Bones.
What is something you always bring as a hostess gift? White orchids.
What music inspires you? I recently discovered an amazing Lebanese band called Mashrou' Leila.
What is your best style advice? Know yourself and be yourself.
What's your favourite piece of clothing? A pair of black pants.
What albums did you listen to as a kid? All of Serge Reggiani and Jacques Brel as a kid.
How do you get into a creative mood? There's no secret to creativity, it's discipline and hard work. If I'm not feeling particularly creative on a given day, I simply work through it.
The differences between France and Canada? They're enormous. Canada is very much a multicultural society, with an abundance of space. Comparatively, France is rather small, yet it has a deeply rooted cultural legacy and identity. They both share similar western values.
What is your favourite perfume? I only wear Samsara by Guerlain.
What's your favourite women's clothing store in Vancouver and outside the city? Bacci's and Mish in Vancouver; l'Eclaireur in Paris.
What have you recently splurged on for your home? Antlers.
What is your favourite bottle of wine? Any Premier Cru Classe (although that sounds snooty, but once you've tasted a great wine there's no going back)!
What piece of art do you feel closest to in your home and outside of it? [Richard] Serra's walls, for their grandness.
What are your most interesting souvenirs? Shells from my dives.
Are you a homebody or party girl? Both depending on the mood.
Where do you go for lunch? I don't really do lunch, but I love having coffee at Faubourg and Thomas Haas.
Where do you recommend out-of-town guests always visit? Le Crocodile for a taste of home.
What is on your mantel? Nothing at the moment, but usually it's whatever my kids seem to put there.
What must every fashionable woman own this season? Stilettos.