At this time every year, social media gets bombarded with only one thing: The Cairo International Film Festival. From incredible opening performances to controversial dresses, there always seems to be a theme. This year is no different; it is all about black dresses and power couples. As usual, we at Contra can’t let a night like this pass without naming our best and worst red carpet looks. So, brace yourself for our top picks!

Dorra Zarrouk in Micheal Cinco

Dorra Zarrouk

If there is one person who always gets it right, it is the Tunisian actress Dorra. Being the fashion icon she is; she blew everyone away in a black dress only fit for a queen. What is unique about this dress is that it is a twist on the classic puffy princess dress most actresses love to wear on red carpets. The black color, the detailed shimmering patterns, the soft wavy hair along with the pop of red lip make this one of Dorra’s best looks.

This is not the first time the fashion duo, Dorra and Micheal Cinco, collaborate together and we’re sure it won’t be the last.

Engy Wegdan in Maison Reda

Engy Wegdan

Velvet, cut-outs, and the color black are the recipe for a perfect dress, or so Engy Wegdan says. Wegdan stuns in another black number (can you see the pattern we have here?), it hugs her figure perfectly and shows that you can pull off any look if you wear what flatters you. Her short bob and nude makeup tie the look together and give it an edgier twist than what we are used to from her.


Mona Zaki & Ahmed Helmy

Mona Zaki and Ahmed Helmy

This power couple is what dreams are made of. Mona wows in this crème dress with ruffles for sleeves. You can just see how comfortable and confident she feels in this dress. The silver jewelry and clutch add a bit of a Greek feel to her look. Ahmed Helmy also looks dapper next to his wife in a fitted black tux with a bow tie and black framed glasses. No man can ever go wrong with that classic look.

Tara Emad in Deena Shaaban

Tara Emad

Long before she was an actress, Tara was a model, and because of that, she was never shy to experiment with fashion. This dress may be one of my favorites tonight. Aside from my personal love for its color, I love its multi-textures, the thigh slit, and the ruffles. It’s trendy, yet feels a bit boho chic.

Heba Magdi in Maison Zein

Heba Magdi

In this edition of the festival, it seems that the crowd’s favorite is none other than Heba Magdi. She looks like a modern Belle from Beauty and the Beast. I personally love this dress not only because it reminds me of one of my favorite Disney princesses, but because it looks perfect on her and the color complements her skin. Also, the colorful clutch adds a playful touch to her look.

Honorable mentions

Hend Sabri in Marmar Halim

Hend Sabri

The birthday girl glows in this one sleeve dress. As soon as I saw it, I knew it would be on this list. There is something magical and pretty about it; the color and the details make Sabri stand out in the most subtle way.

Ola Roshdi and Ahmad Dawoud

Ola Roshdi and Ahmed Dawoud

This fun couple looked elegant and sleek in black and white. They deserve a spot here for just bringing fun and happiness to every red carpet.

Least Favorite Looks

Abeer Sabri

Abeer Sabri

One question: why? Why did she think this was a good idea? The pants-dress style is always a good choice, but the color of this one was not so lucky a choice. This sheer and satin combo is just too much to look at.

Mai Selim

Mai Selim

Does the ribbon in the middle of the dress look like a clothes hanger, or is it just me? I think this dress could’ve been saved if it wasn’t for the ribbon. I love the fit of the dress on her, but the ribbon and sleeves are just too distracting.

Heidy Karam

Heidy Karam

While black is the night’s star, it’s not always a hit. I love the idea of leather anything, but there is just something that’s off about this dress. The biker-meet-goth style of it is not doing it any justice.

What do you think?
What’s your favorite look from this edition of the CIFF? Did you notice this year’s pattern? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!