News Column

Lebanese designs add charm to blase event

August 27, 2014

The Daily Star, Beirut, Lebanon

Aug. 27--BEIRUT -- Among the gazillion tweets Monday night about the 66th Emmy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles was an echoed sentiment that the parade of red carpet fashion made up for a rather predictable event.

"God, the Emmys are boring. Thank god for the fashion -- good or bad, at least it's entertaining," wrote one Twitter user after the show, which honors the best of American TV.

Indeed, the obligatory, postshow best-dressed lists offered more surprises -- and far more women -- than this year's Emmy winners, dominated by long-running series "Breaking Bad" and "Modern Family."

Outfits by Lebanese fashion designers topped most of those lists, starting with a short navy dress worn by actress Julia Robert. Elie Saab showed Robert's gown a month ago as part of the house's fall-winter 2015 couture collection. The 41-year-old star from "Pretty Woman" (1990) and "Eat Pray Love" (2010) got accolades for bucking the long-dress trend and choosing instead a short, long-sleeve dress with oversized pearl beading.

"It's nerve-wracking to wear long. There's the tripping factor," she told a reporter from "E! News" on the red carpet.

Taylor Schilling, the leading actress from Netflix series "Orange is the New Black," also wore a favorite outfit Monday night. Schilling was dressed in a long, off-white gown with a high neckline by Zuhair Murad. The glittering dress was actually one of the more sober pieces from the Lebanese design house's winter couture collection, which was filled with gowns in kaleidoscopic colors.

Other lauded looks featuring Lebanese dressmakers included dresses worn by Camila Alves, Alexandra Daddario and Halle Berry.

Alves, a Brazilian model and the wife of move actor Matthew McConaughey, wore a white dress by Murad pocked in flesh-colored cutouts from head to toe. The boat-neck gown with three-quarter length sleeves was from the designer's 2015 resort collection.

Movie actress Berry chose a lavender chiffon gown by Saab with a high neckline and "True Detective" actress Daddario wore a skin-tight sparkling nude gown by New York-based Lebanese designer Reem Acra.


FAVORITESAttention was also on Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who won the statuette of lead actress for the comedy for "Veep." She sported an eye-catching twisted and draped Carolina Herrera halter gown.

She apparently looked so ravishing that Bryan Cranston, who was to go on and take the best actor in a drama, planted a lingering kiss on her lips as she sashayed up to collect her award.

Red, often a risky choice as it can disappear into the color of the carpet, was the favored tone for stars. Louis-Dreyfus wore red, and so did "Homeland" star Claire Danes in a vermillion embellished Givenchy dress.

"I'm just as nervous now as I ever have been," Louis-Dreyfus, who reportedly washed her flowing dark locks in the kitchen sink, told reporters as she blitzed the red carpet.

January Jones ("Mad Men"), in a Prabal Gurung ensemble, Giuliana Rancic and supermodel Heidi Klum -- who wore designer Zac Posen -- also wore various tones of raspberry red.

As did Christina Hendricks, in a satin one-shoulder gown with floral embroidery by Marchesa.

Not in red but making waves of her own was Hayden Panettiere ("Nashville") in a plunging silver gown that left little to the imagination, and which accentuated her growing baby bump.

Equally as striking was transgender actress Laverne Cox of "Orange Is the New Black," who stunned in a sheer white dress.

Despite temperatures of 24 degrees Celsius, there was a distinctly conservative feel to the outfits worn by some of television's leading lady lights, perhaps in a nod to the more somber part of the evening: the tribute to late Hollywood icon Robin Williams.

"Breaking Bad" star Anna Gunn, who went on to take the prize for Best Supporting Actress in a drama, wore a tasteful dress that combined blue with white, with one shoulder bare and gold-colored shoes adding a glittering dimension.

Among the most eye-catching -- and most widely panned outfits -- was the one worn by "Girls" creator Lena Dunham.

She wore an unflattering fluffy frock that turned from pastel pink to increasingly fiery red as it tumbled -- waterfall-like -- to her toes. That was complemented by a pale pink blouse, a tattoo peaking out of her right arm.

Not that the Twitter world -- or some fashion experts -- were impressed by the outlandish number.

"Can someone PLEASE inform Lena Dunham that it is NOT okay to dress like a human-sized, partially-used fluffy tampon??" one Twitter user wrote, to chimes of agreement.


(c)2014 The Daily Star (Beirut, Lebanon)

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Source: Daily Star, The (Beirut, Lebanon)

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