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.


Palestinian singer Mohammed Assaf ties the knot in intimate wedding

Updated 10 August 2020

Palestinian singer Mohammed Assaf ties the knot in intimate wedding

DUBAI: It’s official! Palestinian pop singer Mohammed Assaf is married.

The “Arab Idol” star tied the knot in an intimate wedding on Aug. 8 that had just family and close friends attending.

According to ET Bilarabi, the Palestinian-Danish bride is 22-year-old Reem Ouda. She lived with her family in Saudi Arabia for a few years, then moved to Denmark after her father died.

Palestinian singer Qasem Al-Najjar, who is Assaf’s friend, announced the news on Instagram on Monday.

“Finally good news in 2020,” he wrote. “Congratulations to my friend and brother Mohammed Assaf on his marriage. God bless you both and bring you together for goodness and happiness.”

It was rumored that the wedding took place in Dubai, where the couple will be living.

The 30-year-old singer has not yet confirmed the news.

Assaf is expected to perform in the UAE on Aug. 20 at Dubai Opera along with Iraqi singer Saif Nabeel. The concert is part of Dubai Summer Surprises, which is the city’s shopping and entertainment festival and is in its 23rd year.