Arab designs and Gaza ceasefire pins spotted on Oscars red carpet

Maitreyi Ramakeishnan wearing a dress by Lebanon’s Zuhair Murad at the Oscars red carpet on March 11, 2024. (Getty Images)
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Updated 11 March 2024
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Arab designs and Gaza ceasefire pins spotted on Oscars red carpet

  • Oscars often a moment for political activism, Gaza war was on minds of some A-listers on the red carpet
  • Designs by Saudi label Waad Aloqaili and Lebanon’s Zuhair Murad were also seen on the red carpet

DUBAI: Hollywood’s top stars hit the Oscars red carpet at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday night, with a handful of attendees dressed in creations by Arab designers while others sported pins calling for a ceasefire amid the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

Canadian “Never Have I Ever” star Maitreyi Ramakeishnan opted for a Spring/Summer 2024 ready-to-wear look by Lebanon’s Zuhair Murad in a monochrome color palette.  Meanwhile, Marvel star Danai Gurira showed off a coral gown from the same collection at the Vanity Fair After-Party, complete with matching semi-sheer opera gloves.




Maitreyi Ramakeishnan opted for a Spring/Summer 2024 ready-to-wear look by Lebanon’s Zuhair Murad. (Getty Images)

Content creator Ashley Yi attended the Academy Awards in an all-white gown by Saudi label Waad Aloqaili boasting a ruffled wraparound which she playfully posed with on the red carpet. For her part, US model Molly Sims chose a pink Georges Chakra dress from the Lebanese designer’s Spring/Summer 2024 Couture line.




Ashley Yi attended the Academy Awards in an all-white gown by Saudi label Waad Aloqaili. (Getty Images)

The event is often a moment for political activism, and this year the conflict in Gaza was not far from the minds of some A-listers on the red carpet.

Several nominees, including Oscar-winning singer-songwriter Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas O’Connell, wore red Artists4Ceasefire pins in support of “an immediate de-escalation and ceasefire in Gaza and Israel.” US Egyptian star Ramy Youssef and US filmmaker Ava DuVernay also wore the red pins while “Anatomy of a Fall” stars Swann Arlaud and Milo Machado-Graner wore pins bearing the Palestinian flag.




Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas O'Connell wore red Artists4Ceasefire pins. (Getty Images)

When it came to fashion, German actress Sandra Hueller, a best actress nominee for “Anatomy of a Fall” and the star of “The Zone of Interest,” was ready for her Oscars close-up in a stunning black Schiaparelli gown with a wide sculptural neckline.

Colman Domingo — a best actor nominee for “Rustin” and one of the definite style stars of this awards season — looked sharp in a double-breasted Louis Vuitton tuxedo with slightly flared trousers, ornate silver buttons and lots of jewelry, including a stunning brooch in his bowtie.

“High School Musical” actress Vanessa Hudgens made a big statement with her black long-sleeved body-con gown — it showcased her baby bump as she announced her pregnancy with baseball player husband Cole Tucker.




Vanessa Hudgens made a big statement with her black long-sleeved body-con gown. (Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Dubai-based US movie star Lindsay Lohan made a strong comeback to the Vanity Fair Oscar Party, along with her Kuwaiti husband Bader Shammas. The “mean Girls’ star wore a shimmering Balenciaga gown to mark her first appearance at the party since 2006.




Dubai-based US movie star Lindsay Lohan made a strong comeback to the Vanity Fair Oscar Party, along with her Kuwaiti husband Bader Shammas. (Getty Images)

One of the best ways to ensure attention on the Oscars red carpet is to dress a bit like the golden statuette — metallics are a timeless sure bet.

Anya Taylor-Joy, who presented an award, took that to heart and stunned in a silvery strapless Dior gown with plenty of sequins and sparkle.

America Ferrera, a nominee for best supporting actress for her turn in “Barbie,” combined two hot red carpet trends with her form-fitting sleeveless Versace dress that was both metallic and pink.

Presenters Cynthia Erivo, a two-time Oscar nominee, and pop star Ariana Grande — who will soon star in a two-part film adaptation of the popular Broadway musical 'Wicked' — brought their Oz energy to the Academy Awards stage. Grande channeled her inner Glinda in a strapless pink cloud of a gown with voluminous sleeves from Giambattista Valli Haute Couture.

Erivo meanwhile struck a very Elphaba chord in a dark green leather Louis Vuitton gown with a plunging neckline and ruffles down the back.


Christie’s to hold ‘Art of Islamic and Indian Worlds’ auction in London

Updated 21 April 2024
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Christie’s to hold ‘Art of Islamic and Indian Worlds’ auction in London

LONDON: Christie’s has announced a spring sale of “Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds including Rugs and Carpets,” which will be presented during a live auction at the British auction house’s London headquarters on April 25.

“This season the sale offers a curated selection of 261 lots including four unique collections,” Christie’s said in a statement. “Illustrating the breadth of craftsmanship across 10 centuries, works date from the 10th century to the 20th century and cover a diversity of artistic traditions.”

The works include paintings, ceramics, metal work, works on paper, arms, textiles and rugs and carpets from across the Islamic world, spanning the Silk Route linking China to the West.

A number of private collections will be auctioned, including early Iranian ceramics from a private American collection, as well as Persian and Indian paintings from the collection of art specialists Charles and Regina Slatkin that features a rare work by the Bukhara artist Mahmud Muzahhib.

The carpet section of the auction “is led by Sultans of Silk: The George Farrow Collection, which is a comprehensive study of the very best of silk rug weaving of the late 19th and early 20th centuries gathered over forty years by the late George Farrow,” Christie’s said in its statement. The collection will offer more than 40 finely woven silk carpets.

 

 

According to Christie’s, Farrow was a British collector of silk rugs and his “expansive collection” comprises a variety of silk weavings from different origins.

Sara Plumbly, head of Islamic and Indian art at Christie’s, said: “We are delighted to offer a wide variety of works of art from across the Islamic and Indian worlds this season (and) we are particularly excited about three private collections, all with long provenance, that highlight the breadth and diversity of the artistic traditions of Iran — from Safavid textiles and painting to medieval pottery.”

Louise Broadhurst, international head of rugs and carpets at Christie’s, said the auction house “is honored to offer the collection of George Farrow, whose passion for antique silk rugs is reflected in the illuminating breadth of examples gathered over four decades, which include highlights rarely seen on today’s market.”

The “Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds including Rugs and Carpets” is open to the public ahead of the live auction from April 21-24 at Christie’s in London.


Sofia Boutella dazzles at London ‘Rebel Moon’ screening

Updated 20 April 2024
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Sofia Boutella dazzles at London ‘Rebel Moon’ screening

DUBAI: French-Algerian actress Sofia Boutella turned heads at the UK premiere of her film “Rebel Moon — Part 2: The Scargiver” in London this week.

Boutella wore a black suit from British fashion designer Stella McCartney with a cropped satin blazer and low-rise straight-leg trousers. She styled her short, dark hair in loose waves, complemented by dramatic cat-eye makeup.

In the sci-fi adventure — a sequel to last year’s “Rebel Moon — Part One: A Child of Fire” — which debuted on Netflix April 19, a peaceful colony on the edge of a galaxy finds itself threatened by the armies of a tyrannical ruling force.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Sofia Boutella (@sofisia7)

Kora, played by Boutella, has assembled a small band of warriors — outsiders, insurgents, peasants and orphans of war from different worlds who share a common need for redemption and revenge, and must band together to fight the Motherworld.

Snyder previously spoke about the two-part epic space opera at Netflix’s Tudum global fan event in Brazil, where he showcased a behind-the-scenes look into the making of the film, based on a concept he has been developing since college.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Sofia Boutella (@sofisia7)

“I’ve been working on this story for quite a while,” Snyder said on stage, according to Deadline. “It’s about a group of farmers on the edge of the galaxy that get visited by the armies of the Motherworld, who are the bad guys. The farmers have to decide to fight or submit.”

He continued: “I don’t want to give it all away, but if they had decided to fight, let’s say that was an option, they would have to travel around the galaxy to find warriors to fight with them. And so, it had us traveling quite a bit.”

Kora is not Algiers-born Boutella’s first role as a sword-wielding extraterrestrial. The actress, who at the age of 10 fled to Paris with her family during the Algerian civil war, is known for her breakout performance in the Oscar-nominated film, “Star Trek Beyond,” in which she portrayed the fierce alien warrior, Jaylah.


Rami Kadi unveils couture collection in Saudi Arabia’s AlUla

Updated 20 April 2024
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Rami Kadi unveils couture collection in Saudi Arabia’s AlUla

DUBAI: Lebanese designer Rami Kadi presented his latest haute couture collection on Friday in AlUla with star-studded guests. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Rami Kadi (@ramikadi_pvt)

 

His summer/spring designs offered something for everyone. The dresses showcased a variety of necklines, ranging from halter gowns and plunging V-shaped dresses to off-the-shoulder styles, strapless designs and more. 

 

 

The dresses, crafted from fabrics such as tulle, chiffon and crepe, exuded voluminous, glitzy and metallic aesthetics. However, there were also satin options and simpler designs available.

 

 

The collection boasted a palette of pastel hues including pink, peach, blue, green, purple, and an array of other colors such as off-white, beige, silver and gold.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Rami Kadi (@ramikadi_pvt)

 

The show was a collaboration between Kadi and AlUla moments. It was attended by Lebanese superstar Najwa Karam, Saudi actress Mila Al-Zahrani, Tunisian actress Dorra Zarouk, and Saudi influencers Nojoud Al-Rumaihi and Lama Alakeel.


Hollywood Arab Film Festival: Showcasing Arab cinema in Los Angeles

Updated 20 April 2024
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Hollywood Arab Film Festival: Showcasing Arab cinema in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES: The third annual Hollywood Arab Film Festival began this week, bringing the best of 2024’s Arab cinema to Los Angeles and giving fans a chance to see the films in theaters as well as introducing a new audience to the Arab world’s top talent.

The event, which runs until April 21, was attended by a number of celebrity guests including Egyptian producer and screenwriter Mohamed Hefzy, Tunisian actor Dhaffer L’Abidine, renowned Egyptian star Elham Shahin and Egyptian producer Tarek El-Ganainy.

 

 

At the event, Hefty said: “Arab cinema really needs a platform to tell our stories and to show who we are, our identity, our hopes and dreams, our pains, and all the different social topics that are tackled in some of the films that are being presented are maybe more relevant today than ever. So I think it’s a great opportunity to have this dialogue.”

Hefzy’s film “Hajjan” was showing at the event. It is a Saudi Arabia-based film directed by Egyptian filmmaker Abu Bakr Shawky.

“Hajjan is a film about a young boy who got a very special connection to his camel, who has a brother who was a camel jockey and races,” Hefzy said. “And, one day when something really unexpected happens to his brother, and shatters his world, it forces him to step into his brother’s shoes and become a camel jockey, and so starts racing himself.”

The movie is a co-production between the Kingdom’s King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, or Ithra, and Hefzy’s Film Clinic.

“It was a film made in Saudi Arabia with Saudi talents and actors with an Egyptian director, but with the Saudi co-writer and Saudi actors and shot mostly in Saudi Arabia,” Hefzy said. “So I think it’s, it was a great experience, and learned a lot about Saudi Arabia, learned a lot about the culture.”

The festival featured cinema from various Arab countries, presenting films from 16 different nations. Marlin Soliman, strategic planning director of HAFF, highlighted the inclusion of six feature films, ten short films and six student films.

Spanning five days, HAFF offered its audience a vibrant experience, including a red-carpet affair, panel discussions on filmmaking and diversity in Hollywood, and, of course, screenings of high-profile films.

The festival also saw several filmmakers singing the praises of Saudi Arabia’s expanding film industry.

L’Abidine, the writer and director of “To My Son,” said: “I’m thrilled to be back again with my second feature film ‘To My Son,’ a Saudi film… I think there is a great evolution of Saudi cinema that’s been happening in the last few years.”


Dave Chappelle to perform at Abu Dhabi Comedy Week

Updated 19 April 2024
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Dave Chappelle to perform at Abu Dhabi Comedy Week

DUBAI: US award-winning comedian Dave Chappelle is set to perform in the UAE at the Abu Dhabi Comedy Week on May 23, organizers announced on Friday.

The capital city’s first-ever comedy festival will run from May 18-26 at Yas Island’s Etihad Arena.

Chappelle will join a long list of comedians performing at the event, including Chris Tucker, Aziz Ansari, Tom Segura, Jo Koy, Tommy Tiernan, Kevin Bridges, Andrew Santino, Bobby Lee, Andrew Schulz, Bassem Youssef and Maz Jobrani.

With numerous accolades and awards to his name, including multiple Grammy Awards and Emmy Awards, Chappelle is renowned for his wit and fearless commentary on contemporary issues.

While May 23 will mark Chappelle’s inaugural performance in Abu Dhabi, he has previously captivated audiences with two sold-out shows in Dubai.