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The Road to the Red Carpet with Mahlagha Jaberi

Arabian Moda x Mahlagha Jaberi
Los Angeles-based Persian beauty Mahlagha Jaberi, whose Instagram following exceeds 4 million, has achieved tremendous success and built a name of her own on the festivals circuit. We spoke to Mahlagha about all things red carpet.

Couture: Georges Chakra - Jewelry: Diana Jewels
Photographer: Joy Strotz - Stylist: Victor Concepto - Makeup & Hair Artists: Polina Matushkina and Victoria Khanlari from Lena Yasenkova Team - Location: Hotel Martinez, Cannes - Red carpet photo courtesy of Diana Catch

AM: How did your journey with the Cannes Film Festival first start?
The journey started when I began modeling. I put in the time, effort and dedication to my work and cultivated relationships with different brands, designers and companies and hope that one day, my opportunity would come. I am grateful that I have great relationships with designers for them to invite me and trust me to wear and showcase their exquisite designs on the red carpet of the Cannes Film Festival.

Arabian Moda x Mahlagha Jaberi

AM: What are some of your rituals before going on the red carpet?
Getting restful sleep the night before is very important, as well as eating a healthy breakfast. My prep throughout the day is to do things to help me relax and de-stress, such as facial and body massages and listening to music.

AM: Describe your perfect day in Cannes
A perfect day would be to go out, explore the city or have a relaxing beach day with no set schedule. A day to unwind and take in all the sight, sounds and beauty of my surroundings. 

Arabian Moda x Mahlagha Jaberi

AM: How do you select your red carpet looks? And what are some criteria you seek in the brands that dress you?
It is a meticulous process that my team and I go through for each red carpet look. At times, we evaluate dresses months in advance before narrowing down our final selection. At the end, it just has to feel right, because I have to feel comfortable, to feel confident. I like to play with different looks to keep it fresh and exciting. I also take into account the story behind the dress and/or designer. When the narrative resonates with me, that special connection is just as important to me as how the dress looks on me. 

AM: In your opinion, what is a red-carpet worthy dress?
An elegant, well-constructed, embellished-detailed dress that shows a little skin always work. When the body is exposed, the color of the design has to complement the skin tone. As important as the style, the individual wearing the dress makes all the difference in how the clothing fits and how the gown is carried. The person’s personality, confidence and comfort tells a story, which will make the wardrobe shine, and translates into a ‘show-stopping’ outfit.

Arabian Moda x Mahlagha Jaberi

AM: You have walked both Cannes and the Venice film festival, how would you describe their different vibe?
Definitely very different, but unique in their own ways. Cannes radiates with all the glitz and glamour, surrounded by rows of photographers, draping the entrance of the famous 24 red steps of the Palais Des Festivals. Stepping on that stage is a spectacular scene! Venice oozes with romance and charm. Being water taxied to the Palazzo del Cinema on the Lido di Venezia, the mystique continues. With the press lined on one side, you are more focused and centered. The allure and appeal is intoxicating. 

AM: A proud moment on the red carpet?
A proud moment was my first Cannes Film Festival in 2021. Weeks in advance, concerned thoughts ran through my mind of participating on the red carpet of the most internationally recognized film festival in the world. I did not know what to expect at the Palais des Festivals. My mind kept questioning “how I would do walking and posing in front of the press, if I could showcase the designer’s dress successfully, and how my overall style would be perceived by the Fashion Media.” Once I arrived on the red carpet, saw all eyes on my dress and heard photographers call out my name, my nerves were calmed and I knew I was where I needed to be.

Arabian Moda x Mahlagha Jaberi

AM: And speaking of film festivals, tell us more about your acting experiences
I have had a lot of fun meeting different people in the film industry, reading scripts and doing casting tapes, but acting has its own set of challenges. There are a lot of moving parts, such as the physical acting to make the character believable and memorizing lines. I am still working to improve all of my skill sets, but when I nail a scene, it is very rewarding. It taps into a different creative channel that I enjoy.

AM: Would you consider becoming a professional actor?
Yes, absolutely! After working with an acting coach and seeing my potential, it has encouraged me to pursue acting. I am open to trying new, innovative projects that allows me to grow and develop as a creative person. 

Arabian Moda x Mahlagha Jaberi
AM: For someone who is walking the festival for the very first time, what advice would you give?
Be confident, be yourself and don’t overthink it. Play with the cameras, wave, blow kisses, smile. Most importantly, have fun!