Fashion Designers Bring Global Culture to the Emmys

Image courtesy of wikimedia commons
Image courtesy of wikimedia commons

Every year, the Emmy awards are hosted, and our TV screens are graced by a plethora of beautiful and talented actors, actresses, writers and directors. These individuals are recognized for their excellence in TV across several genres; it is a highly anticipated national screening event to watch them awarded for their efforts.

In recent years the world has become more culturally aware, and it is progressive awards shows like the Emmy’s and the skilled designers behind them that continue to spread this culture across the globe.

Little is said, however, about the people behind the production of these shows, and how their stories impact the message of the overall program. The fashion designers, who dress the celebrities in preparation of the pre-show red carpet, contribute to the tone of the show, and this year designers  incorporated their global cultures into their designs.

Image courtesy of wikimedia commons

A few perfect examples from this years show were designers Zuhair Murad, Naeem Khan and Prabal Gurung, each of whom brought different aspects of their home culture into their designs for the 2017 Emmys.

Gabrielle Union, the sitcom actress and wife of Dwayne Wade, rocked a black, sequined gown designed by Zuhair Murad. Murad has an eye for lavish fabrics, French cuts and patterned gemstones, and has become an influential name in the fashion world for those looking for traditional hollywood style with a cultural twist.Embed from Getty Images

Murad is a Lebanese fashion designer known for his flowing, floral and patterned gowns. Murad was born into a Catholic family in Ras Baalbek, Lebanon in 1971. After discovering his passion for elaborate style, Murad moved to Paris, where he obtained his degree in fashion.

“Lebanon is my country and I feel really comfortable there” Murad said in an interview with Vogue Arabia. “Even with all the things that are happening in the Middle East—and specifically in Beirut—it is still my city.” 

This blending of Lebanese and Parisian cultures contributes heavily to his designs today.

Alexis Davis, a Chinese-American fashion student at Colorado State University spent time studying global fashion trends in Paris over the past summer. She notes how important culture is in design:

“Fashion is so important for the world to connect with each other. It’s a way of communicating. It’s a way of showing who you are without even speaking.”

Rebecca Hein, another apparel and merchandising student at CSU agrees.

“I think that culture infiltrates every part of fashion. I think it is impossible to have a garment that isn’t soaked in culture.”

While the Emmy’s red carpet certainly saw inspiration from the Middle East, there were also notes of Indian design present among the guests.

Designer Naeem Khan dressed both Laverne Cox of “Orange is the New Black” and Gina Rodriguez of “Jane the Virgin.”

Khan is an Indian American born in Mumbai and is famous for dressing First Lady Michelle Obama, Queen Noor of Jordan, and Kate Middleton the Duchess of Cambridge.

He moved to the United States at the age of 20 to pursue a career in fashion. Khan is well-known for his exquisitely unique dresses, vivid colors, and intricately designed embroidery, which represent his Indian upbringing and his connection to his home culture.

“India always inspires me . . . And many of my dresses use old Indian embroidery techniques. In fact, much of the embroidery is done in workshops in Mumbai. I use traditional practices to make modern wear,” said Khan in a conversation with the New York Times.

Photo courtesy of Flickr

Prabal Gurung, a fashion designer from India’s neighboring country of Nepal, also made a name for himself at the Emmy’s this year.

Gurung is a Nepalese American, born in Singapore to Nepali parents. He was raised in Kathmandu, and attended Catholic Jesuit school for his high school education. Gurung studied at New Delhi’s National Institute of Fashion Technology, which is where his designing career really took off.

Nepal has always been close to my heart—a part of who I am, as both a designer and as a person. For me, Nepal is a beautiful, vibrant and resilient country full of family, tradition, ritual and inspiration” he said when interviewed by Vogue Magazine.

He set up a collaboration with Toms and began his foundation, The Shikshya Foundation Nepal, in order to provide relief after the country was hit by a devastating earthquake.

For every pair of shoes sold, $5 is donated to the Shikshya Foundation Nepal. It’s an ethos that the “glamorous global nomads” who wear Prabal Gurung will no doubt appreciate.”

In recent years the world has become more culturally aware, and it is progressive awards shows like the Emmy’s and the skilled designers behind them that continue to spread this culture across the globe.


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