Jordan's Queen Rania is one of the Middle East's more intriguing public figures, and has been called the new face of Islamic feminism in the 21 century. Married to King Abdullah II, this college educated former banker and mother of three works to improve conditions for her country's disadvantaged and regularly steps onto the world stage to promote and enhance Jordan's image abroad. With her excellent command of the English language, Rania is comfortable speaking with foreign dignitaries and Western journalists alike. Even on matters that require the utmost diplomatic skill, she seems at ease. "People in the West view Arab women as being very conservative not necessarily educated," she commented. "And the truth of the matter is that we have many brilliant women who are very forward-looking."
Although she frequently appears on the International Best Dressed list, Rania is not a conspicuous couture consumer when compared to other clients from the Middle East, but tends to be pragmatic in her purchases. At her husband’s coronation, she chose to borrow a tiara rather than buy a new one that would have been worn infrequently. From the European designers she tends to favor Dominique Sirop, Givenchy and Jean Paul Gaultier. But her favorite is the Lebanese Couturier Elie Saab, not only because he designed her coronation gown, but also because it gives her the opportunity to promote the work of a Middle Eastern designer on an International stage.
Clockwise: In Gaultier Paris, Fall 2002; In Elie Saab Fall 2003; In Givenchy couture, Spring 2004; Wearing Elie Saab Fall 2004.
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