Ciara rocks Arab labels at American Music Awards

Ciara showed off a daring look by Lebanese designer Georges Hobeika. Getty Images
Updated 25 November 2019

Ciara rocks Arab labels at American Music Awards

  • Ciara displayed a striking lineup of show-stopping looks from Middle Eastern designers
  • However, the Grammy award-winning singer wasn’t the only star to seek out regional talent at the ceremony

DUBAI: One of the biggest questions ahead of the 2019 American Music Awards, which kicked off on Sunday in Los Angeles, was: How many outfits can the evening’s host Ciara pull off?  Turns out, the answer is nine. And among the lineup of glamorous, show-stopping ensembles were a number of designs from Arab labels.

First, she hit the red carpet in an oversized cobalt-colored plisse pantsuit from Balmain accessorized with matching turquoise jewelry from Los Angeles-based, Egyptian designer Jacquie Aiche, which set the tone for the rest of the head-turning looks that followed.

Following her opening performance of her new single “Melanin” — she opted for a custom Bryan Hearns creation — the mother-of-two slipped into a leopard-printed mini dress from Saudi couturier Ashi Studio for her third look. The glamorous look featured billowing sleeves and a long train and she accessorized it with a bold, diamond choker.




For her fourth look, Ciara chose an orange, crystal-embellished jumpsuit from Beirut-based label Georges Hobeika. Getty Images

 She followed up the striking ensemble with a design from another Arab couture house. For her fourth look, the “Goodies” singer chose an orange, crystal-embellished jumpsuit from Beirut-based label Georges Hobeika.  The long-sleeved ensemble boasted a high neck and an oversized bow that trailed on the floor. She completed the look with a pair of metallic sandals.

The 34-year-old also rocked designs from Alessandra Rich, Azzaro and Versace. She closed out the celebrity-filled event in a sheer, black Mugler design.

 The Grammy award-winning singer wasn’t the only star to seek out regional talent at the 47th edition of the annual awards ceremony.




American singer Toni Braxton wore not one, but two Arab designs. AFP

Singing legend Toni Braxton, who was honored at the event, wore  a feathered off-the-shoulder gown by Lebanese label Labourjoisie before switching into an ethereal white tulle gown by Kuwaiti designer Yousef Al-Jasmi for her nostalgic rendition of "Un-Break My Heart".

Other celebrities to step out on the red carpet wearing Arab labels include Heidi Klum, who turned to Bahraini label Monsoori for the occasion.

Elsewhere, Regina King arrived on the red carpet wearing a long, black cut-out Ashi Studio gown and Lauren Jauregui turned heads wearing a belted, snake skin design from LA-based, Syrian-Venezuelan label Usama Ishtay.

Meanwhile, American singer Paula Abdul stunned in a single-shoulder, crystal-embellished dress with a high slit from Lebanese label Charbel Zoe. 


‘Work It’ playfully explores ambition through music and dance

Updated 11 August 2020

‘Work It’ playfully explores ambition through music and dance

CHENNAI: Laura Terruso’s “Work It” — one of Netflix’s better releases in the recent months of the pandemic — centers on a young woman’s dream to get into the college that her late father attended. The charming film has an easy pace and, despite its predictable nature, makes for a compelling watch, largely owing to the dance sequences, which form the core of the plot.

Produced by Alicia Keys and performed by a cast of actors in their twenties posing as high schoolers, “Work It” is essentially the story of Quinn (singer and Disney star Sabrina Carpenter), a student who receives excellent grades at school, is focused and has few interests outside her campus. She does have a dream, however, and a desperate one at that — to get into Duke University. Quinn is determined to receive admission into Duke after she graduates from high school.

“Work It” centers on a young woman’s dream to get into the college that her late father attended. Supplied

It seems her grades alone are not enough, however, and in an interview with the head of Duke, a slight misunderstanding occurs. Quinn is mistaken for a dancer, and it appears her admission hinges on her being one. She is not even part of her school’s award-winning dance team. So, she enlists the help of her best friend, Jas (YouTuber-turned-actor Liza Koshy), who is a superb dancer. As the plot progresses, Quinn falls in love with Jake (singer and “Hamilton” star, Jordan Fisher), also an accomplished artist, who doubles as her coach. 

Quinn assembles a team of girls and boys — who can barely shake a leg but who are eager to be part of her efforts — to join a dance competition. The group has difficulty finding a place to practice but eventually find a spot at a nursing home, where residents turn in by seven in the evening. There is a hilarious scene in which Quinn and the dance group begin a practice session only to elicit the interest of one of the residents, who appears to have been disturbed by the noise but who, much to the surprise and amusement of the group, sportingly joins in!

“Work It” is playful, and the dance sessions are a lot of fun to watch, despite Quinn’s desperation to get it right. The 93-minute run time has never a dull moment, not even when Quinn is deep in the dumps, having been rejected by Duke and finding it a struggle to get her body to sway to the beat.