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Exclusive: Meet the Lebanese Stylist Behind Nadine Labaki’s Incredible Cannes 2024 Wardrobe

Lebanese designer Sleiman Dayaa talks about styling filmmaker Nadine Labaki, who has emerged as the queen of this year’s Cannes Film Festival red carpet.

 nadine labaki cannes

Nadine Labaki in Jean Louis Sabaji. Photo:

The Cannes Film Festival is one of the world’s oldest fashion playgrounds, where recent years have not only seen actors and models bring their sartorial A-game, but directors too. Lebanese filmmaker Nadine Labaki is certainly doing that much and more at the 77th edition of the festival–a special one for the acclaimed director who joins the event’s Palme d’Or jury this year. Labaki’s red carpet wardrobe is no ordinary one, featuring everything from tuxedos by international brands to modest as well as bold evening gowns by Arab designers, all thoughtfully picked by Lebanese designer and stylist Sleimaan Dayaa. “It’s my first time working with Nadine,” Dayaa tells Vogue Arabia of joining forces with Labaki. “Her cousin Romy is a good friend of mine. She showed her my work and introduced me to Nadine to take care of her styling during the Cannes Film Festival and all went well!”

While attendees looked to sultry dresses and princess gowns for the opening ceremony, Labaki made a statement in a power suit and a bowtie, setting the tone for the rest of her week at La Croisette. Dayaa attributes the choice to the director’s own sense of style, which he describes as “chic and elegant, with a touch of rock,” and adds that he was playing on the element of surprise. “I wanted the first outfit to be a tuxedo from Celine by Hedi Slimane, it represents her as a director and jury. It’s the perfect outfit that you can think of—nothing is more elegant than a tuxedo, especially on a powerful woman like Nadine,” he shares. “Also, it creates a positive shock for people as everyone is expecting a long gown for the opening ceremony.”

Sleiman Dayaa. Photo: Jeremy Zaessinger via

The following days witnessed the Capernaum director in some of her best looks while championing designers from Lebanon. These include a custom gown by Jean Louis Sabaji in a demure silhouette with embellishments; a romantic off-the-shoulder Sara Mrad number with lace sleeves; a velvet Karoline Lang dress with gold elements paired with a matching Sarah’s Bag clutch; and a sleeveless draped Georges Chakra couture gown. “The idea is to have Nadine in a new image and a new silhouette that fits her style,” says Dayaa, who also found it crucial to showcase local creatives on the red carpet. “It’s very important to encourage the Lebanese talents and present them at this special event. We’re all one and support each other,” he reflects. “All the Lebanese designers who worked with us on this event made everything with love. It must be a proud moment for everyone.”

Labaki’s role as a Palme d’Or jury member also played a significant role in curating her wardrobe. In a balancing act, Dayaa ensured the director’s looks were equal parts refreshing and respectful, while a mutual trust between the duo resulted in outfits that hit the mark. “The easiest part about styling Labaki is that she listens and learns about the new changes. Everything went smoothly and she trusted me,” Dayaa reveals. “Her role as jury member is also very important and it’s a responsibility to work around it,” he adds. “Today, we need to see her as edgy, chic, and elegant at the same time, representing her title and the region well.”

Below, check out all of Nadine Labaki’s looks at the 77th Cannes Film Festival.

 nadine labaki cannes

Nadine Labaki in Sara Mrad. Photo:

 nadine labaki cannes

Nadine Labaki in Karoline Lang and Sarah’s Bag. Photo:

 nadine labaki cannes

Nadine Labaki in Georges Chakra Couture. Photo:

 nadine labaki cannes

Nadine Labaki in Celine by Hedi Slimane. Photo:

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