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The Most Memorable Concert Looks of the Last Two Decades

Didn’t wake up thinking you’d see Samira Said serving Domme at a 2003 concert, did you?

Scene Styled

The Most Memorable Concert Looks of the Last Two Decades

In the ever-evolving world of Arab pop music, a captivating fusion of music and fashion unfolds, weaving a visual narrative that transcends borders and sparks the imagination. Over the past two decades, Arab pop icons have embraced a kaleidoscope of ensembles that mirror their evolving personas.

Some of these looks have ignited admiration, while others have incited public discussion. From Samira Said's striking all-black leather pantsuit, worn as she received the Best Middle Eastern Artist Award at the World Music Awards in 2003, to Haifa Wehbe's burnt orange satin gown that graced the Carthage stage in 2004, the fashion choices of these artists have left an indelible mark.

Samira Said

World Music Awards

Monte-Carlo

2003

Moroccan 'Youm Wara Youm' singer Samira Said - known for her colourful outfits and experimental pop style - donned an all-black leather pantsuit in a performance following her reception of the Best Middle Eastern Artist Award in 2003.

Haifa Wehbe

Benefit Concert for Besma Foundation

Qertage, Tunis 

2004

Dressed in a burnt orange satin gown with thin straps and a plunging neckline, Lebanese artist, Haifa Wehbe, combined the ensemble with a glittering gold bangle and a classic 90s makeup look (nude lips and thin eyebrows included).

Sherine Abdel Wahab

Opening night of Qatar's Fifth Song Festival

Doha, Qatar

2004

Sherine Abdel Wahab, often recognised as 'Sherine Ah Ya Leil,' was still ascending the ranks in the early 2000s when she graced the stage at Qatar's Fifth Song Festival. Sporting a blown-out pixie cut adorned with streaks of dyed golden blonde strands, she showcased her signature brown liner and pink lip combo. Her attire for the occasion featured a satin-fur dress, which, considering the time period, wasn't particularly unconventional. Her only accessories included a pair of dangling silver earrings and a white leather-strap wristwatch.

Elissa 

World Music Awards

California, United States 

2005

Barely six years after making her music debut, Lebanese singer Elissa was ascending the World Music Awards stage to perform in front of some of the world’s most recognised artists. There, she donned a glittering cutout gown, reminiscent of John Galliano’s silk-laded Christian Dior collection. A dazzling jewelled bustier gave way to a flowy turquoise skirt, as her casually loose long black hair and silvery eye makeup, made it a look for the books.

Najwa Karam

International Carthage Festival

Carthage, Tunisia

2004


Najwa Karam, whose voice is one of the most powerful of her generation, is not often recognised for her style choices, but this ensemble is one that generations of artists have taken inspiration from. Yes, Najwa Karim sang Arab ballads on the renowned Carthage stage in full fairycore before we had a term for that style.

Her riotous curls, accentuated by a teardrop tiara, and expertly applied makeup, were all the accessories she needed, because the dress was the star of the show. A kaleidoscopic blend of purple and pink hues melted into each other as twisted straps edged with tiny crystals grew into a thin bedazzled neckline that twined around the upper half of the dress like an errant vine. The dress’ bunched, layered and draped chiffon layers give Karam a nearly celestial aura on stage.

Nancy Ajram

World Music Awards

Monte Carlo

2008

The princess of Arab pop, Nancy Ajram, took an experimental turn with her styling when, instead of donning her usual classic and timeless looks, she opted for something younger. During her first attendance of the World Music Awards, where she was set to perform, Ajram wore a sleeveless sleek silver dress with a neckline dipped in white silk. The look was the first step Ajram took towards breaking through her previous image, showing her sharper edges to the world.

Ruby

Riyadh Season 

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

2022

Egyptian ‘Leih Beydary Keda’ star, Ruby, has never shied away from expressing herself as loudly and boldly as she so chose in the spotlight. However, after a series of monochromatic white looks, Ruby’s scarlet leather ensemble at her Riyadh Season concert was a true surprise.

Mohamed Ramdan

New Alamein Concert

Al Alamein, Egypt

2022

Self-proclaimed ‘Number One’ Egyptian star, Mohamed Ramadan, caused a social media maelstrom upon climbing the New Alamein stage in a pair of black cargo pants, studded leather combat boots, and a sheer mesh shirt that showed more than it covered. The artist, known for his eccentric lifestyle, should not have surprised anyone with his choices, but that time, he did.

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