Bella Hadid Expresses Her Palestinian Heritage In Style
Celebrity Style

Bella Hadid Expresses Her Palestinian Heritage In a Keffiyeh Dress

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Bella Hadid is using fashion to honor her Palestinian heritage. The model hit the Cannes streets in search of ice cream, dressed in a red and white dress made of keffiyehs.

The midi dress was made in February 2001 by design duo Michael and Hushi—who are also the minds behind Carrie Bradshaw’s black and white keffiyeh halter top in a season four episode of Sex and the City. The spaghetti strap dress with its asymmetrical hemline was a technically difficult feat, according to designer Hushidar Mortezaie. “I made [the dress] out of the keffiyeh fabric, which I still have nightmares about, as it wasn’t easy,” he says.

Styled by Molly Dickson, Hadid matched her accessories to her look, donning a pair of red Gucci mules and an oversized white eyelet scrunchy. She also added a pair of small rectangular sunglasses and hoop earrings.

The keffiyeh is a traditional Middle Eastern scarf, which became increasingly popular among Palestinians after Yasser Arafat adopted it in the 1960s. The keffiyeh’s pattern represents important ties to the Palestinian culture: the fishnet nods to the Mediterranean Sea, the thick border lines represent the trade routes, and the wavy lines stand in for olive leaves, which symbolize resilience and strength. While it’s a garment traditionally worn by men, the scarf has grown to become a symbol of solidarity with the Palestinian community.

Recently, Cannes has become a place where the personal and political mix with fashion. Last year, Iranian model Mahlagha Jaberi wore a halter dress with a noose neck by designer Jila Saber to protest the death of Iranian citizens following the death of Mahsa Amini. “We wanted to make a fashion statement to observe the glamour of Cannes, but more importantly, to bring media attention to the wrongful executions of Iranian people,” Jaberi wrote on Instagram. “Unfortunately, political statements are not allowed at the film festival and the security stopped me from showing the back of my dress, but the “noose” meaning was well understood.”

While Bella Hadid has had no shortage of jaw-dropping fashion moments at the Cannes Film Festival, it’s not a stretch to say that this look held the most personal significance.

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