DUBAI: The stakes were high at the 2021 Saudi Cup — dubbed “the world’s richest horse race” — and while the action took place at the King Abdul Aziz race track in Riyadh, most eyes and camera lenses were fixated on the fashion displayed during the event.
The fashionable guests in attendance, which included royals, designers and influencers, turned up wearing embellished abayas and overlays that paid homage to the country’s rich culture.
Womenswear designer Honayda Serafi, who has seen her pieces donned by the likes of Shay Mitchell and Janelle Monae, turned heads in a slew of ensembles that she created specifically for the two-day event.
For the opening night of the races, the fashion designer turned up wearing a white, button-up dress worn underneath a heavily-embellished overlay that was embroidered with hundreds of tiny gold sequins and beads. She paired the regal look with a white headscarf and layered pearl necklaces.
Her second look was a sea green, half-pleated abaya with golden applique that included a striking palm tree motif made entirely out of gold sequins that served as a sartorial nod to her heritage.
In addition to dreaming up her own wardrobe for the event, Serafi was also responsible for conjuring up the head-turning look worn by 29-year-old equestrian Dalma Malhas.
The show jumper was a vision wearing a deep purple ensemble that borrowed elements from Saudi culture by way of metallic coin and tassel embellishments.
Also in attendance at the two-day event was fashion influencer and stylist Hala Al-Harithy, who wore a graphic, Asseri printed abaya and dress by Saudi label Aram Designs.
The label, founded by Arwa Alammari, also found a fan in Nojoud Alrumaihi who opted for the womenswear brand’s Sadu-inspired trench coat and a matching handmade headpiece.
Meanwhile, beauty influencer Yara Al-Namlah opted for something a little more muted in the form of a beige longline coat with a Sadu fabric overlay from R9 Designs, which she paired with a neatly-tied maroon head scarf and Hermes handbag.
Scroll down to see some of our favorite fashion looks from the 2021 Saudi Cup.