Monday July 15th, 2024
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EXCLUSIVE: What Nelly Karim Had to Say About Paris Haute Couture Week

"Paris is the fashion capital of the world, and our culture has long been its muse." - Nelly Karim

Ziyad El-Helbawy

EXCLUSIVE: What Nelly Karim Had to Say About Paris Haute Couture Week

Paris Haute Couture Week, a biannual celebration of luxury in the heart of fashion's global capital, showcased the latest haute couture designs from internationally-acclaimed designers. Among the standout figures at the Fall/Winter 2024-2025 showcase, held June 24-27, was Russian-Egyptian actress and prima ballerina, Nelly Karim.

Adorned in creations by top Arab designers like Tony Ward and Elie Saab, Karim commanded attention in Paris. In this SceneStyled exclusive, she discusses proudly representing Arab heritage and embracing global glamour.

Image courtesy of Ajour Consultancy

How does attending Paris Haute Couture Week allow you to celebrate and showcase your heritage on the global stage?

I’m always honoured and proud to celebrate our rich heritage, particularly amongst such talented world-renowned Arab designers. Attending Paris Haute Couture Week was a beautiful experience, to say the least, observing two cultural worlds merge so seamlessly without any borders or limitations.

Image courtesy of Ajour Consultancy

You come from an artistic background, being a Prima Ballerina and growing up with a mother involved in theatrical design. How has this influenced your appreciation of Haute Couture?

There is a certain transformative power to art and a sense of awe in observing how fabric can be tailored to vividly express a specific theme, feeling, or character. The exact same could be said for my roles as an actress in cinema. Within every aspect of my life I tend to focus on the details, because that is where the significance lies.

Image courtesy of Ajour Consultancy

In your opinion, what role do events like Paris Haute Couture Week play in highlighting the creativity and innovation of Arab designers?

Our beautiful culture has always been a core inspiration and a primary muse for many world-class designers. Paris, the fashion capital of the world, serves as both a catalyst and a platform for these talents to showcase their art.

Image courtesy of Ajour Consultancy

During Paris Haute Couture Week, you attended shows by designers like Georges Chakra, Zuhair Murad, and Elie Saab. What stood out to you the most from each of these shows, and how did their creations resonate with your personal style and identity?

Each designer showcased a different vision and signature with their chosen theme, set, and location. Stephane Rolland’s show was a beautifully curated theatrical and emotional experience that celebrated Paris and transported the audience back in time.

George Hobeika’s collection tactfully employed lots of gradients and appliqués, resulting in quite the sensual display. Tony Ward’s theme was all about glamour, and it was spectacular. Georges Chakra’s show was dramatic, Zuhair Murad’s collection was all about immaculate cuts and embellishments, whereas Elie Saab was all about fantasy.

Image courtesy of Ajour Consultancy

What were some of the most memorable behind-the-scenes moments or insights you gained during Paris Haute Couture Week?

The glitz and glamour of attending international film festivals and global events comes with my role as an actress, but preparing for Paris was something else entirely.

Paris was alive, and I lived its fantasy. I embodied a new character every day.

Image courtesy of Ajour Consultancy

What was it like prepping for Paris Haute Couture Week? Any fun stories you can share with us?

One thing is for sure: you can’t do Paris Couture Week without an amazing team by your side. Some of the most fun and crazy times were getting ready in the car for back-to-back shows and embracing everything—the excitement, the atmosphere, and the sense of freedom.

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