Best dressed stars at the Vanity Fair Oscars afterparty

Kate Beckinsale wears Zuhair Murad at the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party. AFP
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Updated 10 February 2020

Best dressed stars at the Vanity Fair Oscars afterparty

DUBAI: After the party it’s the afterparty and at the 92nd Academy Awards’ post-ceremony bashes, that means the opportunity to wear jaw-dropping designs. Fortunately, celebrities can always count on Arab designers to help them deliver a standout fashion moment.

Kerry Washington

The award-winning US actress arrived at the Vanity Fair afterparty on Sunday evening wearing a heavily-beaded gold top and skirt plucked from Zuhair Murad’s newest Egyptian-inspired couture collection.

Chrissy Teigen

The model and author opted for a mint green Georges Hobeika creation with braided cape sleeves and a thigh-high slit.

Molly Sims

The black lace, one-shouldered sheer gown worn by model Molly Sims was plucked from Lebanese designer George Chakra’s fall 2020 couture offering. 

Madelaine Petsch 

The velvet, forest green Elie Saab gown with flower embroidery worn by the “Riverdale” star ensured all eyes were on her.

Tracee Ellis Ross

The US actress was a vision gold in a Zuhair Murad couture gown complete with shimmering sequin detailing, a plunging neckline and a cape.

Melissa Barrera

Beirut based label Georges Chakra was responsible for the silver metallic, tulle dress donned by the actress. 

Kate Beckinsale

The British star demanded a double take wearing a crimson gown by Zuhair Murad with a criss-cross neck that was drenched in crystals from the Lebanese designer’s most recent couture collection.

Diane Kruger

American-German actress Diane Kruger opted for an asymmetric metallic Elie Saab haute couture gown for the afterparty. 

Film review: Great storytelling makes for fascinating watch in Netflix’s ‘Yeh Ballet’

“Yeh Ballet” is no rags-to-riches story, but one of sheer fortitude and a bit of luck. (Supplied)
Updated 24 February 2020

Film review: Great storytelling makes for fascinating watch in Netflix’s ‘Yeh Ballet’

CHENNAI: Sooni Taraporevala gained immense fame by writing for Mira Nair’s films, such as “The Namesake,” “Mississippi Masala” and the Oscar-nominated “Salaam Bombay.” In 2009, Taraporevala stepped behind the camera to helm a small movie called “Little Zizou” about the Parsi community. It was a hit, and three years ago, she took up the camera again to create a virtual reality short documentary about two boys from Mumbai’s slums who became renowned ballet dancers. 

Taraporevala converted her documentary into a full-length feature, “Yeh Ballet,” for Netflix, and the work, though with a somewhat documentary feel, is fascinating storytelling — a talent we have seen in her writings for Nair. 

Happily, “Yeh Ballet” is no rags-to-riches story (of the kind “Gully Boy” was), but one of sheer fortitude and a bit of luck. The film begins with a breathtaking aerial shot of the Arabian Ocean on whose shores Mumbai stands — an element that points toward the director’s background as a photographer. 

The film chronicles the lives of Nishu and Asif Beg. (Supplied) 

A story inspired by true events, “Yeh Ballet” chronicles the lives of Nishu (Manish Chauhan) and Asif Beg (newcomer Achintya Bose). The two lads are spotted by a ballet master, Saul Aaron (British actor Julian Sands) who, driven away from America because of his religion, lands in a Mumbai dance school.

Nishu and Asif, despite their nimble-footed ballet steps, find their paths paved with the hardest of obstacles. When foreign scholarships from famous ballet academies come calling, they cannot get a visa because they have no bank accounts. And while Asif’s father, dictated by his religion, is dead against the boy’s music and dancing, Nishu’s dad, a taxi driver, feels that his son’s passion is a waste of time and energy.

Well, all this ends well — as we could have guessed — but solid writing and imaginative editing along with Ankur Tewari’s curated music and the original score by Salvage Audio Collective turn “Yeh Ballet” into a gripping tale. It is not an easy task to transform a documentary into fiction, but Taraporevala does it with great ease. Or so it appears. Of course, the two protagonists add more than a silver lining to a movie that will be long remembered — the way we still mull over “Salaam Bombay” or “The Namesake.” But what I missed was a bit more ballet; the two guys are just wonderful to watch as they fly through the air.