Another awards ceremony mainstay is Lebanon’s self-taught master couturier Elie Saab. Standout red-carpet moments include Jennifer Lopez attending the Oscars last year in a honey-hued gown by the 50-year-old designer. The plunging neck-to-navel dress consisted of a full-tulle skirt, sparkling with hand-sewed pearls, appliqué flowers and crystals. The gown, which was gathered at the waist by a thin nude belt, was styled with an exotic skin clutch by Salvatore Ferragamo, and drop diamond earrings. Actress Emma Stone followed suit for the same ceremony in LA, opting for a chartreuse-beaded gown by the designer.
Paying homage to Saab’s maison at the Golden Globes last time around was actress Kate Beckinsale in a greige design with embellished gold bodice.
Dubai-based Filipino designer Michael Cinco was enthralled by Hollywood movies and starlets from an early age.
“I pictured those fabulous heroines and imagined dressing them up in my creations. I chased after those visions,” Cinco says of his childhood ambitions.
The designer’s dreams have been realised in recent years, not least with Sofia Vergara opting to wear a jet beaded creation of his to the Golden Globes in 2013. Cinco also designed several costumes for Mila Kunis in the sci-fi blockbuster film Jupiter Ascending, and counts Jennifer Lopez, Tyra Banks and Naomi Campbell among his clients.
Should Cinco be dressing Hollywood’s glam-set again this season, expect to see gowns that ooze old-school glamour with curve-enhancing silhouettes and Swarovski crystals aplenty.
“My clothes appear seamless. They look heavy and yet they float,” says Cinco. “They look expensive, simply because they are.”
Furne One – Amato
Deemed by many as the granddaddy of Dubai’s couture set, Filipino designer Furne One has a constant stream of celebrities calling for appointments.
Since establishing his label, Amato, in 2002, his clients have included Haifa Wehbe, Cher, Shakira, Katy Perry, Nicole Scherzinger, and his friend Heidi Klum. Notable celebrity collaborations last year included Beyoncé’s outfit for her Grammy performance, and Carrie Underwood’s cocktail dress at the Super Bowl.
“When it comes to fashion, of course, I don’t like to be just like everybody else. Having my own identity is very important to me,” One says of his creations.
“I design for my own pleasure and it is important for me to get the whole look right. So more than just the dress, I also like to play with the styling. Trying stuff and changing them around, until I achieve just the right and complete look.”
Lebanese designer Zuhair Murad’s name has become synonymous with red-carpet glamour.
Without fail, season after season, his show-stopping gowns make headlines around the world. Loyal fans include singer and actress Jennifer Lopez and model Chrissy Teigen, who both looked resplendent in Murad’s gowns for the 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards last year.
Indeed, 2015 turned out to be quite the year for the couturier, with celebrities also showcasing his vintage and contemporary couture at the 87th Academy Awards in February.
Jenna Dewan-Tatum, wife of actor Channing Tatum, shimmered down the red carpet in an all-white, fishtailed dress, while actress Anna Faris channelled Cinderella in a bejewelled strapless gown.
Sofia Vergara paid Murad the ultimate compliment by commissioning him to design the dress for her wedding to Joe Manganiello in November. The custom-couture was something to behold and included an ivory fitted gown and a removable billowing overskirt.
Much-loved by regional royals and expatriates for his fairy-tale wedding dresses and couture evening gowns, Ezra Santos could be another name to watch during the US awards season.
The Dubai-based Filipino designer dressed model and actress Molly Sims in a sapphire blue sequinned dress for the Vanity Fair Oscars Party last February.
He also created an intricate number for Lady Gaga to wear on her first trip to the UAE in September 2014. The gown, dubbed Jardin Majorelle, from the designer’s Autumn-Winter 2014 collection, was a racy peek-a-boo creation of fine mesh, with sapphire sequins and beadwork strategically covering the curves of the singer’s body.
Continuing to make fashionable waves in the region and abroad is the Dubai designer Aiisha Ramadan, under her label Aiisha.
A myriad of stars have been snapped in her pieces of late, not least presenter and actress Aisha Tyler at the Netflix Golden Globes after-party last January. The year before, it was singer and actress Kristin Chenoweth, who plumped for Ramadan’s popular Dita gown in cobalt blue at the Golden Globes.
Oscar-winners are no strangers to Ramadan’s label either. South African actress Charlize Theron wore a glittering demi-couture joupe by Aiisha in an ad campaign for an Australian property development last year.
Source: art & life