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Dome of the Frock: Israeli minister makes statement on Cannes red carpet

Le bas de la robe de la ministre israélienne de la Culture Miri Regev au festival de Cannes, mercredi 17 mai 2017
Calculated fashion choice makes statement amid debate over US approach to the city's ultra-sensitive status

Israel's Culture Minister Miri Regev generated buzz in both fashion and politics on Wednesday after stepping out on the Cannes Film Festival's red carpet on in a dress ornamented with a panoramic view of Jerusalem.

The white and gold dress -- more souvenir plate than fashion plate -- was trimmed with with images of such iconic Jerusalem landmarks as the Western Wall, Tower of David, and the city's modern downtown.

The statement piece, designed by Israeli designer Aviad Herman, was commissioned by Regev herself as a celebration of Israel's upcoming commemoration of 50 years since the re-unification of east and west Jerusalem following the 1967 Six Day War.

"This year we are celebrating 50 years since the liberation and reunification of Jerusalem," Regev said. "I am proud to celebrate this historic date through art and fashion, and I am happy that this work by Israeli designer Aviad Herman is so moving and honors the beautiful status of our eternal capital Jerusalem."

Herman thanked Regev for the opportunity "to express the celebrations of the city."

"For the past months I worked with uncompromising devotion to create this dress, along with my mother Sari," Herman said, adding that "we are very proud of the result."

Regev's calculated fashion choice also comes amid a very public and bitter spat between Israel and the US over its approach to the ultra-sensitive status of the city.

The White House on Tuesday refused to declare Israel's sovereignty over the Western Wall holy site in east Jerusalem, calling it a complex "policy decision" after a US official assisting in preparations for President Donald Trump's May 22-23 visit to Israel and the West Bank ignited a firestorm by angrily snapping that the holiest site in Judaism is "not [Israeli] territory. It’s part of the West Bank."

Trump will be the first sitting president to visit the Western Wall, part of the Temple Mount complex revered by Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif compound, which includes the Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock.

While Israel considers the entire city of Jerusalem to be its undivided capital, the Palestinians see east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

The rival claims to Jerusalem lie at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


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