Arab designers hit the right note on music’s big night

Lady Gaga at the 2019 Grammy Awards. (AFP)
Updated 11 February 2019

Arab designers hit the right note on music’s big night

DUBAI: There was wild, there was wacky and then there was Cardi B — the Grammys parade of often out-there fashion kicked off in a downpour Sunday in Los Angeles and some of the music industry’s finest opted for looks from the Middle East while rapper Cardi B stole the night with her mind boggling gown.

Cardi B had a spot of trouble walking in a sculpted look that evoked a mermaid in the half shell, pearls included, the Associated Press reported. It was hatched in 1995 by Thierry Mugler and featured a sculpted shell that erupted from the rapper’s waist.



@manfredthierrymugler @muglerofficial #MuglerArchives @gismondi1754 @kollincarter

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US singer Bebe Rexha wore a voluminous scarlet gown by Bahraini label Monsoori, while up-and-coming star Ella Mai opted for a billowing blue gown by Lebanon-based Ashi Studio. For her part, Ashlee Simpson wore a feathered jumpsuit by Lebanon’s Georges Chakra in a silver and nude palette.




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Lady Gaga turned to the maestro of the moment, Hedi Slimane. The creative head of Celine, who is of Tunisian descent, designed a stunning sequined look with a structured frill that the Grammy winning star chose for her big night.

Michelle Obama also popped up in a metallic outfit onstage, while Jennifer Lopez donned a huge white bejeweled hat and figure-hugging gown.

The Lopez topper pointed to a popular accessory of the evening — statement hats. It had a brim for miles and was embellished to match her dress of the same shade. She appeared relaxed in her Ralph & Russo look as she posed for photographers with boyfriend Alex Rodriguez, who wore a multicolored dress jacket.

Katy Perry, meanwhile, arrived in a pink Balmain confection that prompted comparisons to a cake topper.



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The former first lady’s look was custom by Sachin & Babi. Lending a hand opening the show, she earned a rousing welcome from the crowd in Los Angeles, the Associated Press noted in its report.

There were attendees dressed as butterflies, neon looks and several outfits with long capes in unusual places, on jumpsuits and short dresses. Never shy fashion-wise, Janelle Monae also wore a wide-brim hat, pairing it with a short dress that had high pointed shoulders, courtesy of Jean Paul Gaultier.

Top nominee Kacey Musgraves wore an ethereal belted gown in a nude hue with a daring fan-like bodice, by Valentino, while Camila Cabello appeared cozy in a long-sleeve sparkler of a bright pink gown with a high neck and open back, done by Armani Prive.

Purple was an It shade of the evening. Grammy winner H.E.R. sparkled in the collar in a gown made for her by Coach, with sunglasses in the same shade.

“It makes me feel like I’m shinin’. I feel like a star,” she said.

It was certainly a sparkling evening to remember, with metallic finishes, sequins and fine embellishment proving to be as popular as ever.


Brazilian-Lebanese designer Nadine Ghosn’s award-winning accessories 

Nadine Ghosn is the daughter of the former Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn. (Supplied)
Updated 20 February 2020

Brazilian-Lebanese designer Nadine Ghosn’s award-winning accessories 

  • The Brazilian-Lebanese designer on her love of jewelry, taking risks, and advice from her father, Carlos

LONDON: Born in America and based in London, the award-winning Brazilian-Lebanese designer Nadine Ghosn is as quirky and jubilant as her namesake fine jewelry line that she launched in 2016. 

Elements of contemporary culture as well as her personal experiences — from her early days in Japan to a love of old-school stationery and popular food classics — inspire her bold creations. And beneath all of that pop and color, jewelry holds a sentimental value for the Stanford-educated entrepreneur. 

“I’m an extremely sensitive person and jewelry is kind of like my token of moments, memories, and people,” Ghosn tells Arab News. “When I started creating jewelry, my goal was to create something that really means something to the (buyer), but also says something about the time we’re in. Going back through time, you (can learn) a lot about civilizations’ cultures through their jewelry, transitioning from one generation to the next.” 

The ‘Hamburger Ring’ was designed around the theme of food uniting people. (Supplied)

Ghosn’s love of accessories stems from her childhood, particularly when her father — the former Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn — would return with gifts from his travels. In her teens, she recalls, “I always spent my money on jewelry. I couldn’t care less about what I was wearing but I would always accessorize it in a specific way.” 

Having majored in art and economics, Ghosn began her career in a New York consulting firm, followed by a rotational program at Hermès. Once she had gained a deeper understanding of craftsmanship, Ghosn turned down a major job offer to begin her own independent career path. “At that point, I was 24 going on 25 and I was just thinking about what my job meant to me and what I was trying to achieve. ‘Am I going to take a risk?’ Those big questions were kind of on my mind,” she says. 

A chance encounter during a timely visit to Lebanon turned into a ‘light-bulb moment’ for Ghosn; she encountered a Beirut jewelry manufacturer, who explained that his studio was struggling as demand for such spaces — and craftsmanship — had declined significantly. Ghosn struck a deal with him: he would teach her to work with gold and she, in return, would design her debut collection in his space.

An 18-karat gold design of seven stackable rings representing different layers of a burger, it was a design that she says raised the eyebrows of those closest to her. (Supplied)

One of Ghosn’s earliest pieces remains the most special to her: The ‘Hamburger Ring’ — which was designed around the theme of food uniting people. An 18-karat gold design of seven stackable rings representing different layers of a burger, it was a design that she says raised the eyebrows of those closest to her. 

“When I first showed it to my family, I remember them saying that no one was going to buy it,” she says. “I had faith in it and when it got momentum it was (proof that) when you believe in something, you should go for it.” The piece has ended up selling to a wide range of clients, from teenagers to 65-year-olds — and including the founder of Wendy’s burger chain. 

Over the years, a number of celebrities have been spotted wearing Ghosn’s pieces. Beyoncé wore the tongue-in-cheek ‘Shut Up’ earring cuff for her 35th birthday celebrations, and Karl Lagerfeld has sported the ‘Can You Hear Me?’ headphones necklace. 

“Too Cool For School” is Ghosn’s latest geek-chic collection. (Supplied)

Ghosn’s latest geek-chic collection is “Too Cool For School,” which ranges from a pencil ring to a paperclip bracelet and protractor earrings. It is, she says, somewhat inspired by her time in Japan — a place where stationery is something of an obsession for many. “The pencil is a simple but empowering tool, and everyone writes their own story,” she says.  

While we often hear the popular idiom “Like father, like son,” in Ghosn’s case, it’s more “Like father, like daughter,” for she shares her father’s entrepreneurial spirit and openness to new ideas. 

“Too Cool For School” ranges from a pencil ring to a paperclip bracelet and protractor earrings. (Supplied)

“My dad always challenged us to be extremely independent,” she says. “He was always very bold and that’s obviously within my DNA as well. Today, we’ve learned much more about each other — he finally says that I’m a jewelry designer because, for the first year or two, he had reservations. But thankfully, because people are purchasing and the fact that the business is profitable, I finally get the ‘designer’ label in my family.” 

As for the best advice she received from her father before starting her own business, she recalls him telling her: “Whatever you do, be the best at it. Make yourself indispensable.”