This year's Miss Egypt decided to keep things regional by teaming up with Dubai-based Rami Al Ali. Syrian designer Al Ali has dressed a plethora of international and Arab stars, including singer Natasha Bedingfield, socialite Ivana Trump, violinist Vanessa Mae, Egyptian star Yousra and Lebanese singer Diana Haddad. He talks to tabloid! about his latest collaboration.

How did you go about finding the perfect pieces for Sara Al Khouly to wear at the Miss Universe 2011 pageant?

We tried to find something that encompassed the DNA of Rami Al Ali. It was extremely important to have something that flowed and was comfortable so Sara could move freely during the competition. One of the outfits we chose was beige as it perfectly complements her skin colour, and the cut highlighted her best assets. Sara is a stunning girl and has a perfect figure, and it was important to show off her best features. In terms of the national costume, we worked on something to reflect the current political situation in Egypt. It is white in order to symbolise peace and freedom, and it was modelled on the pharaohs and therefore represents Cleopatra.

Do you think it is important for an Arab designer to represent an Arab contestant?

In principle, for sure. However, it was more about trying to embody the essence of the costume and create something in a different way. Additionally, Sara's agency chose to work with us due to the fact that as an Arab fashion house, we would understand what is suitable for her.

What's coming up for you?

We have a couple of events in Europe and this region. We'll be focusing on promoting the autumn-winter 2011 collection. Following that, we'll be working on spring-summer 2012.

This autumn-winter, what trends should we look out for?

It's all about simplicity and dark colours. Look out for a range of unique dark colours this season, including midnight blue, maroon and dark green.