By Mariem ELTagoury & Mariam Elewa

We know this article is a bit overdue, but don’t kid yourself; it’s never too late to talk about some red-carpet fashion! For those of you who don’t know about the Cairo Film Festival (CFF), let’s say you were just born yesterday. It was founded in 1976, and is the most prestigious in the Arab world and Africa, as it is the only international festival recognized by FIAPF from either. This year, it was held from 15th till 25th November at the Cairo Opera House.

Now let’s talk fashion; the thing about film festivals, other than the awards, is that they’re not only one night long; so, every day there’s something new, and there are dozens of celebrity looks to gossip about, too. However, we decided to narrow it down to the looks that caught our eye during the opening and closing nights.

Top 5 Best Dressed

In no particular order, here are our picks for the best dressed at the CFF this year.

On another note: We are really proud of all the Egyptian designers who participated to dress the stars of the festival, and proud that those said stars are starting to support local talents.

Amina Khalil

Amina Khalil

Of all the ladies who decided to wear black during the opening ceremony to mourn the late Mahmoud Abdel Aziz, Amina had to be the most elegant of them all. Can this one do no wrong?! For her first CFF red carpet, she stepped out in a one shoulder black dress with a thigh high slit and a detached sheer sleeve, which was fresh and modern; her look was one which looked good at every angle. Chandelier earrings, classic red nails, and wine red lips gave off some old Hollywood glam. She credited Kimi Safadi of Toi Beauty Salon for her gorgeous ombre blonde locks, which were well position to one side, and flattering to the dress.


Yasmine Sabri in Yousef Aljasmi

Yasmine Sabri

We must say that Yasmine’s dress was a pleasant surprise on the red carpet for closing night, after so many undesirable looks this year. The, also, first-timer on the red carpet rocked a sleek modern pink Yousef Aljasmi gown and teamed her fashion forward look with a simple up-do and accessories. This was by far our favorite look from CFF’s closing night.


Mariam Hassan in Heba Edris

Mariam Hassan

Breaking the tide of black during the opening night, the flirty Lebanese actress did not shy away from red velvet – sounds as cute as the dress; okay, terrible pun! The show-stopping thigh slit dress, designed by Egyptian designer Heba Edris, was a modern cut on the winter-themed fabric; furthermore, silver sandals and a simple up-do complemented the look. But the accessory of the night was declared when Mariam pulled ‘an Angelina’ with those toned legs.


Injy ELMokkaddem in Stefania Gulina Couture

Injy ELMokkaddem from left to right: in a black dress, and in a nude dress


Okay, we know they’re technically two looks, but I had to include both here! Injy took a bit of a fashion risk during the opening night with this feminine number combining a mix of different fabrics, but it paid off. This gown, by Stefania Gulina couture, featured lace detailing which complemented the sheer sleeves and satin skirt. She went for another equally fab dress by the same designer, but more risqué and figure flattering this round. The lace on nude trend is not one which everyone can pull off so elegantly, but Injy just rocked it! Double fashion win for the actress this year.


Heidi Karam in Samar Saied

Heidi Karam

Everyone was on-the-fence about Heidi’s dress, but when we saw the photos, it hit our best-dressed list. Let’s face it, we’re not used to seeing patterns on the red carpet, but Heidi looked amazing in this hue and it complemented her fun personality, which radiated in every photo. Thumbs up to this rising Egyptian designer.


Other Notable Ensembles


Arwa Gouda in Bulgari

Arwa Gouda

Like many others on opening night, Arwa went for a basic black dress; but, hers was anything but conventional. The black halter neck was actually strapped onto a gold serpent choker from the Bulgari collection. Arwa wore several other items from the new collection for the night. For the love of details, we’re quite impressed at how Arwa let her jewelry steal the show.



Madeleine Tabar in Ghaly Haute Couture

Madeleine Tabar

We like to imagine that unlike others who rushed to find some black substitute to show their respects to the passing of Abdel Aziz, the ever graceful Madeleine just simply brought out a black ribbon to adorn her exquisite white dress covered in pearls with – slow clap in the background! White is a tricky colour to pull off in our weather, and we like how Madeleine matched her dress with a faux white fur jacket which, not only was chic but, gave us a sense of relief that there is one celebrity on that carpet who feels cold, just like us normal folk in November.


Fifi Abdo & Her Daughter in Fouad Sarkis & Saphir Couture

Fifi Abdo and her daughter

Everyone’s favorite entertainer took a major risk, that wildly paid off, by showing up with her daughter to the closing night in matching black dresses. Some might not agree because of the deep V-neck and fringe sleeves, but we just love the combo. This mother-daughter pair prove two is better than one. We just love you, Fifi!


Elham Shahin

Elham Shahin

After the opening night, it was quite a relief to see Elham Shahin adorn some clothes to celebrate the end of the festival. Her sleek black dress embroidered with gold was lovely, flattering, and classy; quite fitting to celebrate her new award-winning film.


Least Favourite Looks

Designer Mohanad Kojak

From left to right: Hana Shiha, Dorra, and Jamila Awad

The young designer from Project Runway didn’t fare too well on the CFF red carpet this year, in spite of scoring three stars, including Dorra, to wear his work – what he came up with didn’t seem in anyway promising.

Let’s start with actress Hana Shiha, who wore a choker pink dress, embellished with one bird and a lot of florals. Although the dress seemed promising, it appeared matronly and too old for Hana.

Dorra said in an interview that she had another dress ready for the opening ceremony but wanted to switch to black upon hearing the news of Abdel Aziz’s passing, so she chose Kojak to create a dress for her in two days. What’s baffling is she could have chosen anyone or any design, but she chose this! To us, this dress has too much going on. We’re talking puffy sleeves, long sleeves, sheer, lace on nude, and a choker! It’s always nice to take some fashion risk, but this is just too bizarre.

Rising-star Jamila Awad’s been on a fashion risk spree lately, but this lingerie inspired satin dress did her no favors drowning her petite physique and making her even shorter with a choker. Sadly, this is one designer we are not hoping to see on the red carpet again very soon.

Nahed ELSebai in Maison Esthere Maryline Couture Souhir ben Saad

Nahed ELSebai

We truly do admire Nahed’s fashion risk-taking, but we really didn’t understand this gown by Tunisian designer Souhir ben Saad. In particular, the bottom half confused us – it seemed like all the lace got misplaced between Nahed’s thighs, giving an undesirable impression of swimsuit cross trying to be pants cross something dropping out of her! The actress almost did far better in the closing ceremony with a far more interesting dress, that was sadly a little too small for her size!

Bushra in Hany ElBehairy


For the closing night, Bushra stepped out in a body-hugging gown by Hany ElBehairy. Though the geometric, sparkly design could have been a win, we couldn’t quite swallow how it looked like drawing on her actual bod with that nude colored fabric. It was distracting, and not in a good way. Makeup can make or break an outfit, but the bright red lip and bold eyeliner were also a misstep.


Dina ELSherbiny in Norine Farah and Elham Shahin

From left to right: Elham Shahin, and Dina ELSherbiny

What do these two actresses have in common? Dina ELSherbiny and Elham Shahin could have been going for a “who wore it best” challenge…? Or should we say “who wore it less”!? Dina did make a statement saying that the designer had to finish her dress in one day, which might explain why she just had time to create a cover-up for her lady parts and left the rest to nature. The two stars went all out in these barely there cut-out dresses, presumably worn in black to mourn the late Abdel Aziz! We’re equally confused. Anyone has a plausible explanation…?


What do you think?

Were you following the Cairo Film Festival? Which look was your favorite? Which was your least? Let’s discuss in the comments!