Stars look to the Middle East at the Critics’ Choice Awards

A handful of stars wore creations by Arab designers to the 25th Critic’s Choice Awards. (AFP)
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Updated 13 January 2020

Stars look to the Middle East at the Critics’ Choice Awards

DUBAI: The 25th annual Critics’ Choice Awards kicked off in Santa Monica, California, this week. Hosted by US actor Taye Diggs, the ceremony was the second in a string of awards shows to come this month, following last weekend’s season kickoff at the 2020 Golden Globes.

The awards show brought together a host of leading ladies wearing their glittering best. When it comes to delivering a standout red carpet look, celebrities can always look to the Middle East’s design talent — which was demonstrated to its fullest extent at the Critics’ Choice Awards.




Jennifer Lopez wears Georges Hobeika at the 2020 Critics’ Choice Awards. AFP

Look no further than Jennifer Lopez, who was nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Award. Shortly after the superstar kicked off the awards season wearing a bow-adorned Valentino ball gown, Lopez stepped out wearing yet another attention-grabbing look. The “Hustlers” actress opted for a cream-colored, bejeweled Georges Hobeika gown that boasted an open back. Worn with diamond jewelry, the sleeveless, floor-trailing gown proved that you don’t have to take home an award to be a winner.

The 50-year-old wasn’t the only star who looked to Middle Eastern couturiers to dress her for the occasion. Regional talent practically dominated the red carpet at the Barker Hangar at the Santa Monica Airport.




Awkwafina was a vision in a marigold evening gown from Lebanese designer Elie Saab. AFP

Best Actress nominee Awkwafina, who made history as the first actress of Asian descent to win a Golden Globe Award in the lead actress category, attended her second awards ceremony this month wearing a design plucked from Lebanese couturier Elie Saab’s Resort 2020 collection. The “Farewell” star was a vision in a long, marigold evening gown with billowing long sleeves and a keyhole detail.


Mandy Moore opted for an Elie Saab jumpsuit for the red carpet. AFP

Mandy Moore opted for an Elie Saab jumpsuit for the red carpet. AFP

The Damour-born designer also found a fan in American singer Mandy Moore. The 35-year-old decided to trade in the standard glitzy evening gown in favor of a sleek black jumpsuit. The ensemble featured a plunging neckline, matching cape and dazzling gold chain details. She completed the look with a pair of black pointed-toe pumps and effortless makeup.




Ava DuVurnay accepted her trophy in a gown from Dubai-based label Michael Cinco. AFP

Meanwhile, filmmaker Ava DuVernay took to the stage to accept the trophy for Best Limited Series wearing a design by Dubai-based Filipino designer Michael Cinco. The “When They See Us” director chose an intricate, long-sleeved ballgown that was embellished and cinched at the waist. 

For her part, Irish star Saoirse Ronan showed off a white-and-rose-red floral number, complete with puffed sleeves and a billowing train by Canadian-Turkish designer Erdem Moralıoğlu.


Georges Chakra politicizes couture in an ode to Lebanon

Georges Chakra continuously unveils his aesthetic concepts through his couture shows during fashion weeks. (Supplied)
Updated 21 January 2020

Georges Chakra politicizes couture in an ode to Lebanon

  • The 47-piece offering was an extravagant ode to the Beirut-born designer’s home country of Lebanon, where nation-wide protests have been ongoing for the past couple of months

PARIS: Lebanese Georges Chakra presented his Spring 2020 couture collection at Paris’ Petit Palace on Monday. The 47-piece offering was an extravagant ode to the Beirut-born designer’s home country of Lebanon, where nation-wide protests have been ongoing for the past couple of months.

Lebanese Georges Chakra presented his Spring 2020 couture collection at Paris’ Petit Palace. (Supplied)

Placed on each of the guest’s seats along with the show notes was a synthetic white rose accompanied by a note that read “un rose pour la liberte,” which translates to “one rose for freedom.”

Placed on each of the guest’s seats along with the show notes was a synthetic white rose which read “one rose for freedom.” (Supplied)

The message? Fashion is an act of resistance. Chakra wanted to create the real-life looks that reflected the sophisticated and rebellious nature of Lebanese women. These included a show-stopping lineup of striking eveningwear in a burst of white, hot pink and blue color palettes.

Chakra’s brand signature combines elaborate and intricate back details coupled with modern and bold fabrics. (Supplied)

The glimmer-creating Japanese app Kirakira, which turns anything sparkly into a disco ball–like reflection of shine and shimmer, was the preferred medium for capturing Chakra’s runway today — and rightly so. There were plenty of crystal and sequin embellished pieces on the runway that will surely hit the red carpet soon. 

There were plenty of crystal and sequin embellished pieces on the runway that will surely hit the red carpet soon. (Supplied)

Standout looks included a pink, strapless satin duchesse dress that was short at the front and long at the back and boasted a violet floral print, an asymmetrical gown that featured dashes of sequins in varying hues of green, an icy blue sheath dress with an organza train and a hand-painted blue-grey gazar dress with a fan shaped neckline.

Chakra wanted to create the real-life looks that reflected the sophisticated and rebellious nature of Lebanese women. (Supplied)

You can picture his longtime client US actress Janina Gavankar looking devastating on the red carpet wearing the bright pink slit dress with a criss-cross neckline and long train. Or his new client, actress Nina Kiri, who wore one of his creations to the 2020 Screen Actors Guild Awards on Jan. 20, in the strapless, aquamarine satin dress with a high slit.

Chakra began his work in a war-clad Beirut, after he graduated from Canada. (Supplied)

As is customary, the last look was the bridal look. The off-the-shoulder wedding dress was accessorized with a glittering emerald and diamond necklace made by Lebanese jeweler Fawaz Gruosi. In addition to the striking sartorial lineup, the necklace will also be available for purchase, with a portion of the proceeds going to Beirut’s Children's Cancer Center of Lebanon and scholarships at the Ecole Saint Vincent de Paul.