Jodie Turner-Smith in Yousef Akbar at the 2022 The Red Sea International Film Festival

Posted on December 05, 2022

Jodie Turner-Smith stepped out onto the Red Sea Film Festival red carpet to deliver some drama – and a message. First, the drama:



This is only the second Red Sea Film Festival and it’s already an event with some controversy attached to it, as any Saudi-hosted cultural event would be. But Jodi had a message to deliver and she used fashion to do it. She spoke to W magazine about her choice of designer: “While I was in Qatar hosting Fashion Trust Arabia I was taken by the speech of a former winner Yousef Akbar. It enlightened me, it changed me, and it made me want to highlight designers from a region of the world where being yourself may scare you or make you in danger of societal judgement. I stand with artists from all communities around the world, and call for recognition and visibility of them no matter their gender, race, sexuality, or creed. We all matter and Yousef matters to me. I’m so excited to have worked with him and will continue to highlight artists of marginalized communities globally and live fearlessly with and for them.” We don’t know if such a gesture really does anything to stand against human rights violations, but perhaps that’s asking too much of a dress. It’s not, however, asking too much of our stars to not make appearances in countries where homosexuality is criminalized.

AT ANY RATE, it’s a nice dress.




Style Credits:
Yousef Akbar Black Crystal-embellished Gown

Styled by Wayman + Micah


[Photo Credit: Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images for The Red Sea International Film Festival]

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