Middle Eastern designers shine again on awards season red carpets

From the seasoned Elie Saab to Zuhair Murad, as well as Rabih Kayrouz and Tony Ward, regional designers are dominating red carpet season

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Red carpet season is well and truly back. After two years of muted events owing to the coronavirus pandemic, the consecutive months of awards and major galas now means a busy diary for red carpet watchers — and a packed season for fashion designers.

Scroll through the gallery above for pictures from red carpet events this season, featuring looks by Middle Eastern designers.

As has become the norm, Middle Eastern designers are once again marking their presence, dressing up some of the biggest Hollywood stars. Led by seasoned Lebanese designers Elie Saab and Zuhair Murad, the labels shining this season include their compatriots Rabih Kayrouz, Tony Ward and Rani Zakhem. American-born Kuwaiti designer Bazza Alzouman dressed Piper Perabo at the Screen Actors Guild Awards last month. Perabo stars in Paramount Network's Yellowstone, which was nominated for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series, which eventually went to the cast of HBO's Succession.

Sunday's Critics Choice Awards in Los Angeles featured some major showings from these designers. Saab, a fixture at red carpet events, dressed everyone from Rita Ora to Ava DuVernay and Mandy Moore.

Filmmaker DuVernay, who was one of the presenters of the night, was seen in an embellished black and silver caped gown from Saab's pre-autumn 2021 collection. Moore, star of the acclaimed show This is Us, channelled a Grecian vibe via Saab's off-white billowing gown. The heavily bejewelled dress, from the designer's spring/summer 2022 collection, was definitely one of the standout looks of the night.

Meanwhile, singer Ora wore a slit velvet gown from Saab's autumn/winter 2021 haute couture collection as she arrived with boyfriend, director Taika Waititi.

Also at the Critics Choice Awards, designer Kayrouz, who's bounced back after suffering serious injury following the 2020 Beirut Explosion, dressed Jada Pinkett-Smith for the occasion. Pinkett-Smith, who attended the event with husband and Best Actor winner Will Smith (King Richard) wore a golden structured brocade gown from the Lebanese designer's autumn/winter 2022 collection.

At the same event, Ward dressed Yellowjackets star Sammi Hanratty as well as In the Heights actress Stephanie Beatriz, who also voiced the lead character Mirabel Madrigal in the Disney hit Encanto. Zakhem dressed Australian actor Liv Hewson, who also stars in Yellowjackets.

Updated: March 15, 2022, 8:37 AM
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