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Leila Hatami clad in 180-year-old attire at Cannes
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Jury member Leila Hatami arrives on stage during the opening ceremony of the 67th Annual Cannes Film Festival on May 14, 2014.
Jury member Leila Hatami arrives on stage during the opening ceremony of the 67th Annual Cannes Film Festival on May 14, 2014.
TEHRAN -- Iranian actress Leila Hatami, dressed in 180-year-old attire, arrived at the opening ceremony of the 67th Annual Cannes Film Festival on May 14, but the controversies over her greeting Cannes Film Festival President Gilles Jacob eclipsed the elegance of her apparel.
 
The outfit represents the naqdeduzi art, the traditional Iranian embroidery which dates back to the Achaemenid era, dress designer Mehrnush Shah-Hosseini told the Persian service of ISNA on Sunday.
 
All embroidery on the garment has been embellished with threads of pure gold, she added.
 
Shah-Hosseini said that Hatami consulted with her to choose the clothing. Hatami selected for the jury of the Cannes Film Festival, which came to an end on Saturday night.
 
“She called me to consult about her clothing for Cannes after she had been informed of her selection for the jury,” Shah-Hosseini said.
 
“Mrs. Hatami had previously received proposals from dress designers abroad, but she placed emphasis on designing a costume in harmony with Iranian culture and hijab rules,” she added.
 
Due to time limitations, Shah-Hosseini suggested to Hatami that she search in her family’s collection for such a dress.
 
“I offered her a garment that had been embroidered with pure gold threads. The clothing, which dates back about 180 years, originally had been designed for official celebrations,” Shah-Hosseini stated.
 
She said that the dress, which had previously been worn only on one occasion, belonged to her ancestors.
 
“It was kept in an old wardrobe belonging to our family. Due to her dedication to Mrs. Hatami and her family, my mother let us have the garment,” Shah-Hosseini added.
 
Shah-Hosseini said she gave the dress to Fatemeh Hatami-Soltani, a Tehran based skillful dressmaker, to make some minor alterations to prepare it for Hatami. However, despite the alterations, the authenticity of the suit essentially remains intact.
 
“Fatemeh Hatami-Soltani is the only dressmaker I know in Tehran who makes a dress as if she is painting a picture,” Shah-Hosseini said.  
 
“Mrs. Hatami placed a high value on the costume and was happy that she could do her part in introducing Iranian culture and some authentic art of the country at the international event,” she stated.
 
Hatami become the target of outrage in Iran, after she was seen greeting Gilles Jacob with a kiss on the cheek in the customary French way.
 
She described the issue as an “unavoidable situation” into which she had entered, and apologized to her country in a letter published by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance on Friday.
 
MMS/YAW
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