The First-Ever Palestinian Woman Was Nominated for an Emmy, and Her Red Carpet Dress Holds a Special Meaning

Get a closer look at the dress worn by Cherien Dabis, who made history with her nomination for Outstanding Directing for Only Murders in the Building.

Cherien Dabis Emmys 2022 Dress
Photo: Getty Images

When getting ready for the 2022 Emmys, Director Cherien Dabis was understandably a little nervous.

"I'm the first Arab woman ever nominated for directing, and if I win, I'll become the first woman of color to ever win the category," she told InStyle over email. "It's monumental and so exciting, but also nerve-racking!"

Still, one thing that managed to take the pressure off was working with a talented stylist. For the awards show, Dabis recruited Engie Hassan, who has dressed the likes of Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Taryn Manning, and has even shopped for royalty such as Princess Ameerah Al Taweel. Hassan is also Arab American, which Dabis said was especially beneficial.

The First-Ever Palestinian Woman Was Nominated for an Emmy

Mediha Sandhu of Ninjabi Studios

"Here's a fellow Arab American woman who not only understands my personal style but also recognizes the influence my culture has had on my style and appreciates the cultural significance of this moment," she added. "It's the perfect collaboration."

Hassan was thrilled to be part of the moment, too.

"Especially being an Egyptian woman myself, styling Cherien for this historic nomination is a huge milestone for me and fellow women of the Arab diaspora," she told us. "I feel honored to be a small part of this trailblazing moment."

The First-Ever Palestinian Woman Was Nominated for an Emmy

Mediha Sandhu of Ninjabi Studios

She said that the process for choosing this look involved thinking beyond 2022.

"Imagine this image being seen 15 years from now, the nomination being accompanied by an iconic image for you and Palestinian and Arab women for many years to come. While there will be many barrier-breaking moments in your career, this is not just a dress, and not just another event, this is a historical moment."

While that may sound like a lot of pressure for a single moment, Hassan told InStyle that she's used to styling this way.

"When I would style Royalty the onus was on me to make sure they would always look not only impeccable, but also follow the rules and dress customs of the country they were visiting and representing," she told us.

The First-Ever Palestinian Woman Was Nominated for an Emmy

Mediha Sandhu of Ninjabi Studios

For the 2022 Emmys, both Dabis and Hassan agreed on an Alexandre Vauthier look.

"I want Cherien to feel empowered," said Hassan. "Our goal was a meaningful, bold and confident look with a nod to old Hollywood. The shoulders of the Alexandre Vauthier dress are strong while it has a long slit to keep it feminine and sexy."

The First-Ever Palestinian Woman Was Nominated for an Emmy

Mediha Sandhu of Ninjabi Studios

And, of course, there were references to Dabis's culture included as well.

"Her dress is silver, which includes a subtle nod to the Palestinian people who are known for their silver," said Hassan. "Green, black, red, white representing the Palestinian flag were mindfully and delberately incorporated into her look. A green ring, red nails, black shoes."

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