Saudi Arabia’s renowned Red Sea International Film Festival is back for its second edition of showcasing the newest regional and international filmmaking talent. The festival began on Dec. 1 and is expected to go through Dec. 10. Unquestionably, the featured films and talent in attendance drew our interest, but another factor stood out; the expertise of Arab designers who enable these stars to shine bright on the red carpet, rocking diverse looks tailor-made to suit them individually.
Let’s then find out about these designers and the actresses who were seen wearing their gowns.
Tima Abid is one of the most recognized haute couture designers in Saudi Arabia. While many know her as a leading designer in the industry, the Saudi creative is also a writer, poet, and interior designer. Lebanese influencer, Nathalie Fanj was then spotted donning an exquisite Abid black mermaid gown. A Chopard heart-shaped dangling earrings completed Fanj’s ensemble.
Elie Saab, a designer from Lebanon, is a major force in the fashion business as his brand has international workshops in both Paris and Milan. Saab’s name has emerged among well-known celebrities over the course of his career, including Halle Berry, Christina Aguilera, Beyoncé, Angelina Jolie, and Katy Perry. Freida Pinto is the most recent actress to wear a Saab design. Pinto is an Indian actress, who has acted in films like Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Slumdog Millionaire. At the Red Sea International Film Festival’s opening night gala screening of What’s Love Got To Do With It?, she wore Saab’s striking gown, a brilliant shade of yellow with large, puffed sleeves.
If you’re wondering, Youssef Akbar is a Jeddah-based fashion designer who uses his collections to tell a story that evokes the emotional undercurrents of daily existence. His brand is based on collaboration, producing ethical and responsible couture and ready-to-wear looks that not only make the consumer look good but feel good. This is done by utilizing recycled and upcycled materials and by supporting local artisans in small communities in the Middle East and around the world. In light of this, Brazilian supermodel Alessandra Ambrosio dazzled in a blue jumpsuit from Akbar’s collection. Ambrosio has often sported creations from Arab designers. Last month, she wore a lime gown by Lebanese couturier Zuhair Murad to a holiday brunch in Mexico.
Mashael Al Faris
Saudi Arabian actress, Mila Al-Zahrani looked stylish in a sleek black-and-white gown from the label Mashael Al Faris. Al Faris is a Saudi fashion designer specializing in high-end designs. Back in 2019, the uniform worn by women organizers and receptionists at the foundation stone laying ceremony of Diriyah Gate was the innovative work of none other than, Al Faris. The credit went to her for accomplishing the total work of the uniform, from drawing, selecting materials, and knitting in a short period of two weeks. She designed a costume incorporating features of modern fashion design in a way matching fully the historical designs of Diriyah.
Zuhair Murad, a Lebanese clothing designer based in Beirut, has marked his presence internationally and in Hollywood among great stars. He has become a favorite at red-carpet events for celebrities, and several other famous people wear Murad’s breathtaking designs. In this year’s edition of the Red Sea International Film Festival, Zuhair Murad’s looks were everywhere, as the brilliant Lebanese fashion designer hit the red carpet himself as one popular entity suggested. Lebanese actress, Nadine Nassib Njeim chose a one-shoulder Zuhair Murad fitted draped satin gown from the atelier’s spring/summer 2022 line.
Stunning, don’t you think? If anything, the outfits demonstrate the extravagance and the visions of these designers. In the Middle East, you can find such talented fashion designers with a desire to tell unique stories via their creations, and their participation in festivals is only one way of doing so.