Arab designers take over Country, Latin music awards

Updated 16 November 2019

Arab designers take over Country, Latin music awards

  • There was plenty drama and glamour to be seen courtesy of the Middle East’s design talent at the 2019 CMA's
  • . The red carpet at the 2019 Latin Grammy Awards was also awash with jaw-dropping ensembles from Arab designers

DUBAI: Singers, supermodels and actors descended upon Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena last week for the 53rd annual Country Music Association Awards, wearing their best “giddy-ups.”However, it wasn’t all rustic denim and cowboy boots on the star-studded red carpet.  In fact, there was plenty drama and glamour to be seen courtesy of the Middle East’s seasoned and emerging design talent who were responsible for dressing a number of the well-heeled attendees, including “Bachelorette” star Hannah Brown.

The former Miss Alabama stepped out on the red carpet wearing an elaborate dress from Dubai-based, Omani couture label Atelier Zuhra. The white, dotted ball gown featured a mock-neck and a full A-line skirt that trailed into a billowing train.

An Arab designer also found a fan in certified hitmaker Pink, who hit the red carpet with her husband Carey Hart and their two kids, wearing a long, burnt-orange dress from Dubai-based label Zeena Zaki. The “So What” singer played into the country theme by pairing the ensemble with a black cowboy hat tipped to one side.

P!nk wears Dubai-based label Zeena Zaki at the 2019 Country Music Association Awards. Photo: Getty Images

Elsewhere, the evening’s host Carrie Underwood wowed in a floor-length, sequin-covered Elie Madi dress, which featured sheer paneling, gold embellishments and a long tulle train. Meanwhile, American singer Maren Morris accepted the Best Album of the Year award wearing a pastel blue top and matching billowing skirt designed by Saudi label Honayda.

The Country Music Association Awards almost fully honored and highlighted the women of country music — whose songs have been heavily dismissed on country radio over the years — until two words were uttered when they named its entertainer of the year: Garth Brooks.

Wednesday night’s show kicked off with a performance featuring country female acts across generations, included three female hosts and had Maren Morris as its top nominee. But in the final moments, Brooks won the top prize over Carrie Underwood, who many had hoped would be the first female to win entertainer of the year since 2011.

It wasn’t just the 2019 CMA’s where our regional talent was on full display. The red carpet at the 2019 Latin Grammy Awards was also awash with jaw-dropping ensembles plucked from the collections of Arab designers. Brazilian superstar Anitta turned heads wearing a Georges Hobeika crystal-embellished maxi skirt and a yellow crop top that featured a floor-trailing, oversized bow.

Roselyn Sanchez wears Nicolas Jebran at the 2019 Latin Grammy Awards. Photo: Getty Images

Puerto Rican singer Roselyn Sanchez, who picked up four awards for her album “El Mal Querer” also opted for a design by a Lebanese couturier, donning a multi-colored sequin gown with a thigh high slit by Nicolas Jebran.

Another memorable red carpet dress powered by a Beirut-based designer was the bright red Jean-Louis Sabaji gown donned by Mexican superstar Thalia for the 20th edition of the annual award show. 


What We Are Reading Today: Texas Flood

Updated 10 December 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Texas Flood

AUTHORS: Alan Paul & Andy Aledort

Texas Flood by Alan Paul and Andy Aledort is a phenomenal biography of guitar legend Stevie Ray Vaughan that hits on every level, including interviews with those closest to him.

A review in The New York Times said: “An oral history is only as good as its sources, and Texas Flood is thorough and far-reaching, with Vaughan’s bandmates, crew and family taking center stage.”  It added: “Especially fascinating is Vaughan’s complicated relationship with his older brother, Jimmie,  and Vaughan’s ill-fated role in David Bowie’s band, an apparent big break that he quit because he was told he could not promote his debut album.”

The review said: “If there’s a disappointment in the book, it’s the lack of Vaughan’s own voice. Aledort interviewed him several times during his lifetime, but since those conversations were focused on specific projects, the quotes pulled for Texas Flood don’t leave much impression. Both authors are accomplished musicians and longtime contributors to Guitar World magazine, so occasionally things get a little gear-heavy.”