Red Carpet Killer: Zuhair Murad Gets It Right, Every Time

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If I’m ever fortunate enough to walk a red carpet (instead of reporting from behind the barricade) there’s one designer I dream of wearing: Zuhair Murad.

The Beirut-based fashion king is now mentioned in the same breath as names like Giorgio Armani, Christian Dior, Oscar de la Renta and Valentino Garavani when it comes to dressing stars for major award ceremonies.

“I’m not afraid to take risks with fashion,” Murad tells The Hollywood Reporter. “My pieces are made to stand out, and what I love is the celebrity then embodies the statement the dress is making.”

Jennifer Lopez stole the show at the Golden Globes last night in a silver “art deco inspired beaded sheer caftan.” The 45-year-old beauty is one of Murad’s biggest celebrity supporters, calling him one of her “favorite designers.” Murad has also produced classic moments for Beyoncé, Shakira, Miley Cyrus, Kristen Stewart and more plus scores of Middle Eastern royalty.

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Growing up in Baalbek, Murad started sketching dresses from the age of 10. He once remarked, “I don’t recall a day in my life without a pen in my hand.” He opened his first atelier in Beirut in 1997 (after studying fashion abroad in France) and presented his first couture collection in 2001 during Haute Couture Week in Paris.

Lebanese fashion designers have a storied history when it comes to dressing the A-list set (Elie Saab, Georges Chakra, Abed Mahfouz) and being of Lebanese descent myself, I admire and am truly inspired by Murad’s success story. His career advice to Fashiontographer.com is priceless.

“First, you should be passionate for this job to give it your best,” Murad says. “You should find your own style, own inspiration, and stay true to your vision. You will inevitably get frustrated and upset and will probably question yourself along the way. It is a tough road where you will face fierce competition and comparable talent. One needs to be patient and work carefully. Only perseverance will compensate those who want to succeed in the fashion industry.”

Take a glimpse at the designer’s best work at ZuhairMurad.com.

Controversial Comedy Trailblazer Joan Rivers Dead At 81

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Comedienne Joan Rivers has passed at the age of 81.

“I’m 81—I could go at any moment,” remarked Rivers during a comedy set in New York City the night before she was initially hospitalized (August 28). “I could fall over right here and you all could say, ‘I was there!’”

The pioneering stand-up comic, talk show shot, queen of gossip and smart-mouthed fashionista burst into national prominence with a 1965 guest spot on The Tonight Show and eventually became one of Johnny Carson’s regular guests and his permanent substitute host. Her career weathered numerous storms and impacted generations of fans and most importantly, female comedy acts like Kathy Griffin, Sarah Silverman and more.

“My mother’s greatest joy in life was to make people laugh,” Melissa Rivers said in a statement. “Although that is difficult to do right now, I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon.”

Art 4 Life Gala 2013 Red Carpet: Russell Simmons, Rick Ross & More

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Danny and Russell Simmons held their 14th annual Art 4 Life Gala this past weekend in Bridgehampton, New York, raising over $1.5 million for arts education specifically for inner city youth.

“When you were young, were you encouraged to be creative?” was the question posed to celebrities on the red carpet, which included event host Soledad O’Brien, Rick Ross, Michael Strahan and Nicole Murphy, Skylar Diggins, Anthony Anderson, Maxwell and more.

WATCH: Your Favorite Rappers Favorite Style Moments

Packed in like sardines, myself and other media types (I use that term loosely nowadays) worked theBET Hip Hop Awards 2012 red carpet this past weekend.

While my peers literally scrambled to get soundbites from every artist in attendance, I chilled for the most part (after covering red carpets for years, the excitement definitely wears off). I only really pepped up when I saw some of my favorites, like Wiz Khalifa and Machine Gun Kelly. The theme of my questioning was fashion (repping for DrJays.com, of course) with today’s rappers reminiscing on their most exciting style moments of the past.

The BET Hip Hop Awards air on Tuesday, October 9 8/7c.