Arab designers spice up Venice Film Festival red carpet

Molly Sims’ Zuhair Murad gown was equally impactful from the back. (Getty Images)
Updated 02 September 2019

Arab designers spice up Venice Film Festival red carpet

DUBAI: Stars from across the world have turned to Arab designers for their red carpet appearances at the ongoing Venice Film Festival.

From Romanian actress and model Madalina Diana Ghenea to Lebanese director Nadine Labaki, the international film industry’s leading ladies have been showing off a number of glittering ensembles from regional designers since the festival opened on Wednesday.




Madalina Diana Ghenea showed off a sparkling look by Zuhair Murad. (Getty Images)

Ghenea took to the red carpet last week in a sparkling nude-colored number by Lebanese designer-to-the-stars Zuhair Murad, which featured a gently scooped square neckline and no shortage of glittering silver embellishments, as well as a thin metallic belt at the waist.

US actress and model Molly Sims also showed off a gown by Zuhair Murad, but it was drastically different due to its pretty pink hue and cascade of rose-colored frills on the exaggerated shoulders. With a plunging neckline and beaded detailing on the flowy skirt, it stood out on the Venetian red carpet.

French model Gabrielle Caunesil opted for a vibrant gown by Lebanese designer Rami Kadi, best known for his edgy cuts and use of unexpected materials — he is a fan of plastic and glass. “Thanks @ramikadi for the beautiful dress, @renecaovilla for the princess shoes, @chopard and @armanibeauty for making me feel beautiful. It takes a village,” Caunesil took to Instagram to say.

Meanwhile, the director of Oscar-nominated film “Capernaum,” Labaki, chose a black gown by Lebanese talent Georges Hobeika.

The dress, which she showed off at Saturday’s screening of “J’Accuse,” featured a plunging rectangular neckline — which almost hit her navel — and gem encrusted details.




French model Gabrielle Caunesil opted for a vibrant gown by Lebanese designer Rami Kadi. (Getty Image)

Hollywood heavyweight Scarlett Johansson chose to show off a scarlet column gown by French fashion house Celine, designed by its French-Tunisian creative director Hedi Slimane.

The sweetheart neckline, hip-high slit and rouched material on the sparkling bodice combined to make it a standout look.

Johansson wore the Celine gown on the red carpet before Thursday’s screening of “Marriage Story,” a Netflix film about a couple — she plays an actress and he plays a theater director — with an eight-year-old son managing a bi-coastal separation and divorce.

Johansson stars alongside Adam Driver in the film that is competing for the Golden Lion award.

Although Johansson had her own experiences to draw on having most recently divorced French businessman Romain Dauriac in 2017, she said there was something of everyone behind the film in the brutally honest but tender character study.

 “It felt fated in a way,” Johansson said. “It came somehow at just the right time,” she told The Associated Press.


US rapper will.i.am is the voice of new Expo 2020 Dubai ad

Will.i.am is a member of the Black Eyed Peas band. (AFP)
Updated 14 October 2019

US rapper will.i.am is the voice of new Expo 2020 Dubai ad

DUBAI: Expo 2020 revealed US rapper will.i.am is the voice of the latest advertisement for the event that is set to run from Oct. 20 until April 10, 2021 in Dubai. 

In the ad, which features the development of technology, the Black Eyed Peas artist says, “You weren’t there when humans conquered fire, when they wore animal skin attire or invented the bicycle tire. You weren’t there when they created algebra, built the pyramids in Giza or painted the Mona Lisa. You weren’t there when they first made paper or built the amphitheatre, when they calculated gravity or made flying a reality.”

The 44-year-old star states several historical contributions made in technology that changed our word.

“But you could be there and with your own eyes witness new acts of human genius,” he says. “Be there to see the alliance of art, music, fashion and science. See a futuristic festival filled with ideas new and radical, performances magical, in a six-month-long spectacle. This, you can’t afford to miss. It’s the best of human kind and the greatest show of our time.”