BEIRUT: Lebanese designers had less of a presence at this month’s film festivals compared to the Cannes festival in May, when numerous stars paraded in Lebanese-designed couture each day.
A few red-carpet regulars did make their appearance this month, particularly at the 70th Venice Film Festival, which welcomed stars in Elie Saab and Zuhair Murad.
At the Toronto International Film Festival, which wraps up Sunday, stars come out more casual than at Cannes and Venice. At the much-anticipated screenings, stars who would at its European counterpart draw out the Saabs and Murads from their closets, instead opt for jeans, blazers and rain jackets.
A few headline grabbing exceptions included a pregnant Kate Winslet, who wore a blue Jenny Peckham gown cinched above her baby bump to the screening of “Labor Day.”
American TV and movie actress Sarah Paulson wore a beige strapless dress of floral guipure lace from Georges Hobeika’s fall-winter 2013-14 collection. Hobeika unveiled the dress in Paris in July. Paulson, on her way to the premiere of “12 Years a Slave” paired Hobeika with a beige clutch, gold pumps and minimal jewelry.
The week before in Venice, British and Italian designers made the best-dressed lists, including U.K. designer Christopher Kane worn by Rebecca Hall and Gia Coppola.
As for Lebanese designers at Venice, Dakota Fanning wore a plunging midnight blue gown with beading in the glittering dark blue from Saab’s fall-winter 2013-2014 couture collection. Fanning was one her way to the premiere of “Night Moves,” and paired the billowing dress with only a large ring on her middle finger.
Vanessa Hessler, an American-Italian model working mostly in Europe, was photographed wearing Murad twice during the Venice Film Festival. She wore a long-sleeve beige silk dress with black sequin beading and floral overlay from Murad’s Resort 2014 collection on the Premio Kineo red carpet.
She wore another dress from Murad’s 2014 Resort collection to a party for Vanity Fair magazine hosted in Venice. The short cocktail dress, covered in pearls, had long sleeves with structured golden shoulders.
With a month of fashion weeks underway in New York, London, Paris and Milan, Lebanese designers are readying runway shows for ready-to-wear spring-summer 2014.
Tony Ward, ordinarily a staple designer on the red carpet, has of late been looking further east. Recently, Chinese stars such as Annie Chen as the Taipei Film Festival were photographed wearing Ward gowns.