By Marriam Mossalli
It’s official! Saudi Arabian talent has made its first appearance on the red carpet! Thanks to the talented Mohammed Ashi of Ashi Studio, Saudi Arabia has now joined the fashionable ranks of Lebanon — the Middle East Couturier to the West. Ashi Studio of Saudi Arabia dressed a record of four celebrities for this year’s Grammys!
Wearing trademark dresses of Ashi, these celebrities stood out among their contemporaries as ethereal creatures of visionary fashion. Each gown possessed a greatly missed sophistication that is often replaced on the red carpet by safe bets and mundane fashion choices of familiar designers. Yet, these pioneering women — actress Eva Longoria, singer Anna Nalick, E! TV personality Giuliana Rancic (previously known as Dipandi) and Naya Rivera of Glee — chose to arrive at the 53rd annual Grammy Award ceremony wearing the fabulous couture gowns of Ashi that seemed to undulate in voluminous folds of luxurious fabric.
The newly divorced Desperate Housewives star sported a flirty black and white mini-cocktail dress with a voluptuous ruffled collar, which she paired with dramatic Loree Rodkin drop earrings, a Sergio Rossi clutch and satin Brian Atwood platform pumps. The combination was flawless and landed the tiny-framed Latina on numerous Best Dressed lists!
Ashi also catapulted Anna Nalick to “Best Dressed” fame with numerous blogs praising the singer’s choice to play up her feminine side in his tulle and feather gown. The cinched waist and voluminous skirt gave the musician an elegant silhouette, while the nude dress provided the perfect backdrop for her rich bob and dramatic smoky eye makeup to steal the spotlight.
Other celebrities who also opted to go the Middle Eastern route were Katy Perry and Natasha Bedingfield who stole the spotlight in a creation by Lebanese Couturier Abed Mahfouz. Katy Perry chose a Lebanese-designed gown by Couturier Nicolas Jebran for the pre-Grammy Clive Davis Party that transformed the “California Girls” singer into a sophisticated woman of taste and elegance.
All the gowns were selected from the Kate Nobelius Inc.’s International Designer Showcase, an event that took place a week before at the London Hotel in West Hollywood and had many of Hollywood’s leading stylists working with Grammy Awards and Academy Awards presenters, performers and nominees in attendance.
“After seeing a more conservative red carpet over the past few years, we are witnessing a return to glamour this year,” noted Founder Katie Nobelious. “Pairing their exquisite fabrics with their extraordinary craftsmanship, Middle Eastern couturiers, including Ashi Studio, Abed Mahfouz and Nicolas Jebran, are an obvious choice for many stylists.”
“By dressing Hollywood’s most recognizable faces, a luxury brand becomes a star in its own way,” said Hassan Mahfouz of Abed Mahfouz. “Celebrities not only endorse the personality of an existing brand, but can also create the personality of a new brand. Our customers in the Middle East react to Hollywood’s choices. It’s great for our business.”
Lebanese couturiers that have previously dominated Hollywood’s red carpet over the past year include Elie Saab, Reem Acra, Zuhair Murad and Georges Chakra. The 2011 International Designer Showcase debuted five of the Middle East’s most celebrated emerging designers who are sure to become the “next wave” of red carpet regulars!
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