Ice Style

ROYAL COUTURE.....The Fashionable First Ladies of The Near and Middle East

Sheikha Divas Fashion Queen: Rania of Jordan in Elie Saab With all the bad news coming out of the Middle and Near East, I wanted to post something pretty about that region. Specifically, its First Ladies and their fashion sense. I know that some would argue that several of these women have (or have had) controversial or not-so-nice husbands, i.e., Iran and Syria, but that's not the topic here at It's about fashion here. If I wrote a blog for BBC or CNN, then that's where I would discuss their shady husbands.Bell Sleeved: Farah Diba of Iran In almost every interview I have done, I get asked "Who are your muses?" or "What inspires you?", and besides 1970s Pan Am Flight Attendants and Miss Venezuelas, I always mention Empress Farah Diba of Iran and Queen Rania of Jordan as muses of mine. It seems of late that the "new guard" of Queens, Princesses, Sheikhas and First Ladies from the Middle East are taking cues from the former Empress and becoming quite the fashion divas. Here is my Fashion Tribute to the Divas of The Middle East: The Old Guard:Of course, I have to start with Farah Diba, wife of the late Shah of Iran who was overthrown by the Iranian Revolution back in 1979. Here she is on the cover of Life Magazine back in 1959, announcing her engagement to the Shah. I didn't realize Life Magazine was the UsWeekly of the 1950s. In this Dior gown, she was already giving a hint of the Fashion Diva that she was to become.Come Fly With Me: I LOVE this photo of the Empress Farah Diba, looking like one of my other muses, a Pan Am stewardess. I am LIVING for the pillbox hat, crystal-trimmed suit and diamond pin. Effortless. Remind me why women don't dress like this anymore?Couture Diva: Princess Firyal of Jordan is also one of the "original" Divas of Middle East Fashion. She was married to the youngest brother of the late King Hussein of Jordan (therefore the title) but divorced him back in 1978 (scandal!). Back in the day, she was the Bianca Jagger of Princesses, partying at Parisian and Manhattan nightclubs, hobnobbing in Monte Carlo (the city not the hotel thank you very much). Besides being a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador since 1992, she is also famous for being a front-row fixture during Haute Couture Fashion week (Couture darling, NEVER Pret-a-Porter) . The New Guard: The Winning Queen Diva Queen Rania of Jordan (in a gorgeous Stephane Rolland silk crepe ivory gown) at a recent visit to Rome with her husband, King Abdullah II Of course, the title of the Queen of the Middle East Fashion Divas has to go to the stunning Queen Rania of Jordan. Every year, she tops all the "World's Best Dressed" lists and one can see why. She rarely gets it wrong when it comes to fashion. Queen Rania with Mayor Bloomberg of NY She definitely has that fashion "gene".She wears all the top designers and is especially fond of Lebanese designer Elie Saab, whose gowns she is always seen in. First Runner Up: Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned Turban Happy: Sheikha Mozah is a serious fashion Diva. And I am adding her to my list of muses, like tomorrow! She is the second of three wives of the Emir of Qatar (I would hate to be the other two). Besides being the President of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs in Qatar and a UNESCO's Special Envoy for Basic and Higher Education, she is also known for wearing Haute Couture (naturally) and her iconic turbans. Carla Who: It's not easy to upstage Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, the First Lady of France and former model. But I barely notice Carla when the Sheikha is around.Can You Get Out Of The Picture Please: Again, the Sheikha upstages another First Lady, Mehriban Aliyeva of Azerbaijan with a fabulous fitted suit and (of course) her trademark turban. Aliyeva--who is very stylish in her own right (more on her below)-- looks like her assistant standing next to her. Poor thing. Rania Runner-Ups--Chic Ladies In Waiting:First Lady of Azerbaijan, Mehriban Aliyeva. Above we saw her looking uncomfortable with the Sheikha of Qatar and in this photo, she's at a recent State Visit to Jordan meeting Queen Rania. You know she had to "step up" her fashion game if she had to stand next to her. First Lady of Syria, Asma al-Assad. She's tall, a size zero and loves to look glamorous and fashionable. No chadors in her closet. Many comment that she's a bit of a Queen Rania copy-cat and only had a heightened sense of style since the Jordanian Queen came into the scene. Whatever it is, who cares. She's out to dispute the myth that all women in the Middle East are covered from head to know and don't enjoy the so-called more frivolous desires such as fashion and looking fashionable. Daytime Syria: Here she is giving you Daytime--with a capital D. Love this dress and the statement necklace. Ten out of ten "Nick Fashion Points".Princess Amira Al-Taweel is another "Mini Rania". She's a Saudi Princess married to global tycoon Prince Alwaleed Bin Talaal, nephew to Saudi King Abdullah and the 13Th wealthiest man in the world and she looks like a movie star. Finally...An honorable "Fashion Mention" could go to Princess Lalla Salma of Morocco. I know, Morocco technically isn't in the geographic Middle East and in fact is in North Africa, but I am still including her. She is a "Rania Mini-Me" and as of late, has been seen sporting more fashionable ensembles straight out of Vogue as opposed to a Marrakesh Bazaar but she still loves her caftans and takchita. Until next time my dear fashionistas--I'll be on the look out for more Fashionable First ladies, Queens and Princesses of the World in my ever-expanding quest to search for more NIKOLAKI muses. If you have any suggestions, feel free to "drop me a note" here...

0 Response to "ROYAL COUTURE.....The Fashionable First Ladies of The Near and Middle East"