Rami Kadi

6 Times Celebrities Dazzled in Lebanese Designer Rami Kadi’s Dresses

6 Times Celebrities Dazzled in Lebanese Designer Rami Kadi’s Dresses

Since starting his design career in 2011, Rami Kadi has become one of the best known Lebanese designers to represent the region on a global scale. With his dazzling creations becoming public event go-tos, he has dressed multiple models, actors, and A-list stars walking the red carpet. Think Tunisian actor Dorra Zarrouk‘s iconic pale bedazzled dress at the Cannes film festival this year, or Aishwarya Rai Bachchan‘s crystallized off-shoulder number at the 71st edition of the festival, with an interesting amalgamation of sharp-fit structures and flows.
Who can forget the time Lebanese singer Myriam Fares was in Dubai at a royal wedding donning a pink, floral embellished, off-the-shoulder gown with a voluminous overskirt signed Rami Kadi from his May Blossom capsule collection? Or the Oscars 2019 afterparty when Kendall Jenner stepped out in what might be her boldest look, wearing a barely-there gown for the occasion? Kadi, the brainchild behind the daring creation, did not disappoint, with a cut-out halterneck and sky-high slits on either side, making it one of the best looks of the night. The glittering number had first appeared on the designer’s last Spring 2019 couture collection.
The UNEP Goodwill ambassador also counts the likes of Beyoncé and Jennifer Lopez as fans in his ever-growing list of VIP clientele and has marked 10 impressive years in couture. In celebration of his birthday today (August 16), we round up his best celebrity looks.
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With Fairy Tale Ballgowns Back and Bigger, Will We See a Post-Pandemic Renaissance?

With Fairy Tale Ballgowns Back and Bigger, Will We See a Post-Pandemic Renaissance?

Giambattista Valli. Photo: Courtesy
When best actress nominee Cynthia Erivo stepped out for the virtual golden Globe awards in February wearing a luminous neon Valentino SS21 Haute Couture gown, towering silver platforms, and white leather gloves, she made it clear: while red carpet season might have changed, post-pandemic glamor had arrived. Pierpaolo Piccioli delivered another showstopper in April at the Oscars for best actress nominee Carey Mulligan, whose golden couture gown, embroidered with thousands of sequins, took 350 hours to create and further heralded the triumphant return of wide-skirted, OTT glitz.
1930 Screen Star Jean Harlow. Photographed by G. Rosson
After more than a year of WFH leggings, Zoom tops, and face masks, there has been a renewed appetite for joyful, optimistic, and event dresses that evoke a sense of occasion, says Libby Page, senior market editor at Net-A-Porter. “Bestselling brands include Zimmermann, Chloé, Valentino, and Alex Perry, all of whom showcased vibrant gowns and prints that are meant for a sense of occasion,” she adds. “We believe it is a result of the incredible optimism among our customers as they fall back in love with the joys of dressing up.” Buoyed by the global vaccine rollout and countries slowly opening up again to travel and socializing, audacious dressing is back in rotation.
Carey Mulligan at this year’s Oscars. Photo: Getty
A return to glamour after times of despair is nothing new – culture always responds to trauma, with fashion usually leading the way. The horrors of the first world war and the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic – collectively killing an almost unfathomable 70 million people – was followed by the Roaring Twenties, as if so much sadness could only be washed away with fringed flapper dresses, a daring bob hairstyle, and jazz. Everything came crashing down in 1929, followed by the Great Depression – which Hollywood answered with fur, diamonds, and sultry starlets like Vivien Leigh and Jean Harlow. In 1947, Christian Dior bid adieu to the austere fabrics and designs that characterized the 1930s and 1940s with his lush New Look, its acres of fabric signifying an end to rations and restraint.
Chanel Spring 2021 Couture. Photo: Courtesy of Chanel
The 2000s, however, have seen glamor slowly slip away in favor of street style and athleisure, reaching a fleece-lined nadir during the 2020 lockdowns. forget putting on a ballgown – the entire planet was barely putting on deodorant anymore. What even was the point? But fashion is about the future, even when it references the past. And the point is this: life, and hope, and beauty will always return. Those tracksuit bottoms might be cashmere but they can never compete with the sheer fantastical thrill of being enveloped in an unreasonable amount of tulle, silk, or taffeta. Where would Cinderella be without her gown? Still scrubbing the hearth, probably. Gowns are transformative and restorative – and our post-vaccine future is nothing if not full-on dazzling, with ballgowns taking center stage.
Menna Shalaby at the 2020 El Gouna Film Festival. Photo: Amina Zaher
For her recent ninth wedding anniversary celebrations, Lebanese fashion entrepreneur Karen Wazen Bakhazi stepped out in a neon yellow jacquard Dior gown, the classic silhouette punched up with a vivacious 2021 hue. “I wanted to wear something special to mark the occasion, with a feminine, princess-inspired mood,” she says. “I miss dressing up, and this was such a nice opportunity to wear a dress like this again! I love wearing gowns, they’re always my favourite thing to wear to mark special moments.” Designers both regionally and internationally have also started stepping away from passionless practicality to show revived ballgowns, including Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera, Schiaparelli, and Dior. Zuhair Murad and Elie Saab, too, have returned with live couture shows featuring fantastical creations. For his SS21 collection, Lebanese couturier Rami Kadi included a show-stopping pearled ivory ballgown embroidered with crystals and ostrich feathers, as well as a jacquard gown with Disney fairies whimsically embellished across the asymmetrical skirt. “I want women to feel the best of themselves, as if this is their favorite version: strong, confident, feminine, and fierce,” Kadi notes. “After the pandemic, we are seeing a return to authenticity. Owning a couture piece is like owning a master painting; a piece that you will forever sustain and cherish and that your children and grandchildren can inherit.”
Viktor and Rolf Spring 2021 Couture. Photo: Team Peter Stigter
For those of us not willing to go full Met Gala at brunch and completely forgo the ease of wear we’ve become accustomed to this past year, the ballgowns of this new era masterfully blend glamour and comfort. At Carolina Herrera, Wes Gordon showed dresses in cotton, without boned bustiers, while Wazen chose her Dior frock partly because “it was cut to a midi length, so not only did it feel special, but it was ultra comfortable to wear.” This season’s gowns are not just for weddings and the red carpet; they are made for movement, with the full skirts also handily providing a built-in social-distancing mechanism. “Overall, designers have demonstrated a positive outlook for the season as they move towards more sophisticated fabrics and standout details in their collections,” reflects Page about Net-A-Porter’s occasion wear. “One of our bestselling gowns continues to be the exclusive Oscar de la Renta strapless metallic brocade gown retailing for £10 845 (about AED 48 600) – we sold multiple units in just one day earlier this year. In terms of occasion footwear, Amina Muaddi is the queen.”
Oscar de la Renta. Photo: Courtesy of Oscar de la Renta
Times have been bleak – but take a peak underneath and you’ll see a slip of gown waiting to be unleashed. We want to dress up and celebrate, not continue as if nothing happened. We want to bask in the gloriousness of life; take urgent pleasure in the moment; go from effortless to effort-full. And what could be a better dress to do that in than a ballgown?
Rami Kadi. Photo: Supplied
Read Next: 34 Wedding Dress Ideas from the FW21 Couture Shows
Originally published in the July/August 2021 issue of Vogue Arabia

Lebanese Couturier Rami Kadi Recalls His Career’s Favorite Moments Ahead of 10th Anniversary Show

Lebanese Couturier Rami Kadi Recalls His Career’s Favorite Moments Ahead of 10th Anniversary Show

Rami Kadi in his atelier photographed by Tarek Moukaddem
Lebanese designer Rami Kadi is all set to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of his eponymous fashion house. On June 9, Walk of Cairo (WOC) will host the couturier for a fashion show, making it the first time Kadi has been welcomed by the Egyptian pedestrian high street destination. Kadi’s latest SS21 Retrospective 10 collection and a selection of iconic dresses from the FW21 Dessiner le Vide collection, among other exclusive designs, will be presented. Along with the show, there will be an exhibition that commemorates the fashion house’s journey of iconic and unique moments and designs spanning a decade.
The fashion show will be styled by renowned regional celebrity stylist, Yasmine Eissa, whose work has been featured on top regional and international media platforms.

Speaking to Vogue Arabia about his 10-year anniversary, Kadi shared that the last decade has been one of experimentation, learning, and growth. “We have explored themes ranging from the individual to the collective, inspiring ourselves from festivals, books, films, events, inanimate objects, and many others,” he says. “During those 10 years, we have been fortunate to receive the support of many celebrities and influencers, with whom we retain sincere relations, and to who we are utterly grateful. Similarly, the press has been a supportive force, featuring us in print and on screen, and to those people in the press industry we owe a great deal,” he adds. As such, Kadi believes that it is only natural that the Retrospective 10 collection be dedicated to the 10-year mark, and the event thank all the people that have worked with his fashion house and brought it success.
Kadi expresses his excitement to celebrate the anniversary in the chosen location of WOC, calling it a luxurious space with a beautiful landscape and architecture. “Cairo and Egypt in general have a vast culture and are known well in the fashion and cinema industry, so I’m very excited to be there and have my show there for the first time,” he tells Vogue Arabia. “I’m mostly looking forward to meeting my customers because we’ve never done anything in Cairo,” he adds.
Myriam Fares in Rami Kadi. Photo: Courtesy of Rami Kadi
At the early age of 25, in May 2011, Kadi started paving his professional designer career, with the launch of his own showroom and his first atelier in the heart of Beirut. Looking back, Kadi fondly recalls three memorable moments that he considers the highlights of his career. “The first one was in 2014 at the beginning of my career when Myriam Fares wore my design. This built momentum for my career as people started to know about the brand and who I am. The second time was my debut fashion show in Paris, during the couture week, and the third time was when Kendall Jenner wore my design at the Vanity Fair Oscar’s party,” he says. Having had significant international reach and recognition already, Kadi’s eponymous label has also been worn by Rachel McAdams and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.
Kendall Jenner in Rami Kadi. Photo: Getty
This kind of widespread support was especially crucial in the wake of a majorly heartbreaking setback in Kadi’s, and many other celebrity-loved designers’, career when his atelier was left shattered with broken glass and scattered with fabric after the August 4 explosion in Beirut.
Kadi grappled with the tragedy by launching limited-edition T-shirts embroidered with feminist messages, to support families who were affected by the deadly blast, and a number of celebrities, including Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, Kourtney Kardashian, purchased the designer’s shirt to show support for Lebanon.
Just two months after the devastating damage, Kadi and his team bounced back bravely to unveil a new collection laced with poignant hope, the FW21 Dessiner le Vide. He dedicated the collection to the resilience of his country, using the pieces to highlight the holes left by the tragedy. As a proud Arab designer and representative of the Middle East internationally, his goal is to compete with international fashion designers and be at their level, and to be known as an “international Arab designer.”
Photo: Instagram/@Ramikadi
The designs of the collection to be showcased at WOC were created by digging into years of archives of his work. Ultimately, the selection process was based on two key criteria: signature status and endorsement. The former denotes a dress that can be easily recognized as Rami Kadi Maison de Couture, whether in terms of cut, embroidery, or treatment, while the latter denotes a dress that was worn by a major celebrity or that was met with popular or critical acclaim.
Kadi’s Retrospective 10 label consists of 10 pieces, and in contrast with the chromatic boldness that usually typifies his fashion house, Retrospective 10 bases itself on metallic colors such as gold, silver, platinum, and bronze. While this collection is to go on display in the WOC, Kadi says that his favorite collection so far is Tourbillon Celeste. “It was inspired by a very special experience I had in Venice that’s very close to my heart,” he shares. “I was inspired to recreate it in my own way and the way I dream of it.”
Rami Kadi fall 2019 couture. Photo: Patrick Sawaya
Indeed, Kadi’s decade-long journey in the fashion industry has been like no other, brimmed with defining moments of stardom and vicissitude. Having come a long way since inception, the most notable changes that Kadi has observed in the industry over the years are that most designers are opting for sustainable fashion and cruelty-free materials, using less exotic skin. “The industry is being more environmentally friendly and that’s a good step for the future,” the UN Goodwill Ambassador tells Vogue Arabia. Reminiscent of the time he started out and how he overcame numerous hurdles courageously over the span of his work, Kadi states that ambitious fashion designers and fashion students may dream of a lot, but the industry is not as easy to break into as it may seem. “My advice for aspiring fashion designers is that they need to be up to date of every single detail in this industry and to work really hard to be recognized in the fashion world,” he adds.
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Rami Kadi is the UN’s Newest Goodwill Ambassador

Rami Kadi is the UN’s Newest Goodwill Ambassador

Lebanese couturier Rami Kadi has been announced today as the regional Goodwill Ambassador for the sustainable fashion programme at UNEP. It is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system, and serves as an authoritative advocate […]
The post Rami Kadi is the UN’s Newest Goodwill Ambassador appeared first on Vogue Arabia.

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