A number of Hollywood A-listers and Arab stars took to recent award shows wearing head-turning gowns from Arab designers––seasoned Middle Eastern names such as Zuhair Murad and Elie Saab predominantly ruled the red carpets.
Meryl Streep arrived at the 2017 Academy Awards wearing a midnight blue, tailored pairing of slim-cut pants and an embellished, off-the shoulder top that featured a train, designed by Elie Saab. The Lebanese designer also found a fan in actress Janelle Monáe, who made her fashionable Oscars debut in a diamond-encrusted Elie Saab Haute Couture gown. Meanwhile, director Ava DuVernay paid tribute to Saudi designer Mohammed Ashi by wearing an Ashi Studio gown as a “small sign of solidarity.”
At the annual amfAR Gala in New York City, Adriana Lima turned heads in a black, plunging gown from the Zuhair Murad Fall 2016 Haute Couture collection. Meanwhile, model Barbara Palvin opted for a lace embroidered, polka dot Elie Saab dress for the occasion. Also at the event, singer and actress Madison Beer posed for photos wearing a regal, champagne-colored gown by Ashi Studio.
Memorably, Kendall Jenner attended the 2016 Cannes Film Festival Chopard party wearing a long-sleeved, feather-embellished sheer gown by Elie Saab couture. And who can forget the midnight blue, sequin-encrusted Zuhair Murad haute couture gown worn by Jenna Dewan Tatum at the 2016 Golden Globes?
Emerging talents made a high-octane impact in 2016, too. Tunisian star Hend Sabry practically demanded a double take in a deep plum, off-the-shoulder gown by up-and-coming Tunisian couturier Ali Karoui at the 2016 Dubai International Film Festival in December. Elsewhere, at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards, model Winnie Harlow opted for an asymmetric dress by Lebanese designer Nicolas Jebran.
Here, we look back at the standout examples of Middle Eastern designers taking over red carpets.