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.


Louvre Abu Dhabi releases sci-fi podcast featuring 7 international celebrities

Updated 01 June 2020

Louvre Abu Dhabi releases sci-fi podcast featuring 7 international celebrities

DUBAI: On Sunday, Louvre Abu Dhabi  has released a 20-minute cinematic podcast, “We Are Not Alone,” that reinterprets the museum's architecture through a futuristic story narrated by seven international celebrities.

Available in six different languages, the new podcast is narrated in the voices of Emirati singer Hussain Al-Jassmi in Arabic, American actor Willem Dafoe in English, French actress and singer Charlotte Gainsbourg in French and English, Chinese actress Zhou Dongyu in Mandarin, Russian DJ and singer Nina Kraviz in Russian and filmmaker and playwright Wim Wenders in German.

“Louvre Abu Dhabi tells the story of art history throughout the ages,” said Manuel Rabate, Director of Louvre Abu Dhabi in a statement. “As we always look for new ways to experiment and innovate, we continue to explore new narratives inspired by our architecture and collection. ‘We Are Not Alone’ is yet another example of our innovative approach to sharing stories of cultural connections,” he added.

The new podcast is composed and produced by Soundwalk Collective, an experimental group of artists and musicians. It is a part of the UAE museum’s extensive digital offering, which includes free access to content through virtual tours, video, audio and downloadable activities.