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Arab Designers Rule the VMAs Red Carpet

A number of Hollywood A-listers and Arab stars took to recent award shows and international red carpets wearing head-turning gowns from Arab designers – seasoned Middle Eastern names such as Zuhair Murad and Elie Saab ruled the red carpets.

At Sunday’s Video Music Awards, Hailey Baldwin, Demi Lovato, and Olivia Munn all opted for designs by Middle Eastern couturiers.

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 actor Janelle Monáe, who made her fashionable Oscars debut in a diamond-encrusted Elie Saab Haute Couture gown. Director Ava DuVernay paid tribute to Saudi designer Mohammed Ashi by wearing an Ashi Studio gown as a “small sign of solidarity.”

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.

If you’re feeling inspired, see our Eveningwear That Also Works in the Day outfit ideas. For more pictures, look at our edit of the DIFF Red Carpet.

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