Lebanese-Australian model and humanitarian Jessica Kahawaty looked picture perfect at the premiere of the film “BlacKkKlansman” during the 71st Cannes Film Festival.
She walked the red carpet on Monday in a glamorous white dress by Lebanese label Azzi & Osta and paired her outfit with jewels by Swiss brand Avakian. The former beauty queen wore striking drop amethyst earrings, set in white gold and adorned with diamonds and pearls.
On her wrist, the model wore an amethyst bracelet — the purple-hued stones were set in white gold and embellished with round cut diamonds and cream-colored pearls
She shared a snap of her wearing the dress while on a balcony on Instagram, with the caption: “Taking it all in... Moments after we put the final touches (on) before the red carpet.”
Kahawaty wore her custom-couture gown to the premier of "BlacKkKlansman," which received a rousing, lengthy standing ovation at the film festival, which runs from May 8 to May 19.
It tells the true-life tale of a black police detective in Colorado who infiltrates the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan. It was among the most highly anticipated titles at Cannes this year and immediate reactions were positive.
Kahawaty is most famous for her media and modeling careers — placing in several high-profile beauty contests before going on to host entertainment shows for Yahoo Maktoob and, later, “Project Runway Middle East.”
Aside from her time in front of the cameras, Kahawaty studied business, finance and law in Sydney and is a keen supporter of a number of humanitarian causes, including UNICEF and the United Nations High Commissioner For Refugees (UNHCR).
She is a fixture on the Cannes red carpet and has been winning big in the style stakes at the festival, wearing a number of regional labels and posing like the professional that she is.
Another eye-catching moment during the Cannes festival was a protest by 82 women who climbed the steps of the Palais des Festivals in an unprecedented red carpet protest to press for improved gender equality in the film industry, the Associated Press reported.
The number of stars, filmmakers and film industry professionals ascending the steps represented the number of female filmmakers who have been selected to compete at Cannes during the festival’s seven-decade history.
In contrast to their 82, 1,866 films directed by men have been picked for the prestigious festival lineup.
Organizers said the event was orchestrated by the Time’s Up movement and the French movement known as 5020x2020 to show “how hard it is still to climb the social and professional ladder” for women.
It brought an array of film industry professionals to the Cannes red carpet, including actresses Salma Hayek and Jane Fonda, “Wonder Woman” filmmaker Patty Jenkins and French director Agnes Varda, a recipient of an honorary Palme d’Or at Cannes.
The five female members of this year’s Cannes jury also joined the protest — Cate Blanchett, Kristen Stewart, Ava DuVernay, Lea Seydoux and Burundian singer Khadja Nin. Blanchett read a statement atop the Palais steps in English; Varda read it in French.
“Women are not a minority in the world, yet the current state of the industry says otherwise,” Blanchett said. “We stand together on these steps today as a symbol of our determination to change and progress.”
“The stairs of our industry must be accessible to all,” she concluded. “Let’s climb.”