A month ago, Dubai-based model, entrepreneur, and influencer Elvira Jain was in a labour room giving birth to her baby boy. But within four weeks, she swapped her maternity dress for a fancy designer gown, only to glide down the Cannes Film Festival red carpet on its opening night.
Elvira returned to the Cannes red carpet circuit this year to promote a high-end Italian fashion house and jewellery brands.
When Gulf News tracked her down on the phone, Elvira was already back in Dubai from her red carpet outing and was at her elder child’s school waiting to pick him up after his classes.
“Talk about switching lanes ... From red carpet at Cannes to school pick-ups,” said Elvira with a laugh.
While her post-pregnancy bounce back might seem unreal and rapid, the 32-year-old new mom claims that it’s not genetics but sheer hard work that helped her achieve this striking transformation. She has been modelling since the age of 15.
“I was very careful about weight gain during my pregnancy and made sure to eat healthy. I didn’t let go. People assume it’s because of my genes, but it was sheer hard work. I took care of myself and ate super healthy,” said Elvira in an interview over the phone. She preferred to weigh her food and count calories to avoid overeating.
Elvira, who was born in the Republic of Moldova and moved to Dubai nine years ago, had gained around 12 kilograms during her pregnancy and is currently breastfeeding her child. She claims she shed the post partum weight soon after the baby's arrival, making it easier for her to plan her Cannes red carpet return.
This marks her third visit to the Cannes Film Festival, having been previously invited by high-end jewellers and fashion houses to promote their brands.
“This year, Cannes was a whirlwind affair. I arrived on May 16, the opening night of the festival, and I was back in Dubai the next day. As I talk to you, I am picking up my elder child from school. So life is certainly busy and full,” said Elvira with a laugh.
But multitasking comes naturally to this UAE resident, who is married to an Indian expat.
The new mum was particular about wearing something colourful for the opening night. She wanted her dreamy gown to reflect her colourful life.
“And since I recently gave birth to my second child, I wanted to wear something green, which symbolises freshness and hope. I wanted to wear something that was positive and inspirational at the same time,” said Elvira.
Elvira joins the likes of other UAE-based models and influencers like Farhana Bodi, who are present to promote brands at this year’s festival.
“In my third year at the festival, I told myself that I need to wear something colorful this time. I have worn white, pink, black, and silver in my previous red carpet appearances, but this time, I was looking for a gown that matches my colorful personality, and thank God I found Barbara Rizzi to create this couture ensemble,” said Elvira. She complemented the rainbow-colored skirt with a bottle green silk shirt and Damiani jewels.
But looking red-carpet ready isn’t a proverbial walk in the park. The model, who has walked the runways of several international fashion weeks, claims it all boils down to discipline.
“You are what you eat. Definitely watch the food that you put into your body because it affects your overall well-being. I try to eat nutritious food, a balanced diet rich in fiber and vitamins. With this lifestyle — traveling and working non-stop - I drink a lot of fruit juices and water. Water is life,” said Elvira. The model is also an entrepreneur who sold her modeling agency a few years ago in Dubai.
While the Cannes Film Festival is a celebration of cinematic gems, it is routine to invite influencers and models from around the globe to endorse luxury goods. Elvira, who had a close encounter with Johnny Depp this year, believes that Cannes is about films and glitz.
“Films and glitz are interconnected and greatly support each other. Film is about art, but the glitz and glamour that we bring aid with marketing, entertainment, and aesthetics. But most importantly, it’s about empowering women to choose whoever they want to be and what they want. They can be a pop star, model, engineer, or a mother, and they can still shine on the Cannes stage.”
Elvira counts her Cannes appearances as significant milestones in her career and life.
“Walking down the Cannes red carpet is a moment to remember in your life. The energy, the people, the anticipation, and the whole atmosphere filled with glitz and glamour make it a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. But now, I have to pick up my kid from school,” said Elvira before signing off.
Being in Cannes was surreal because it was Johnny Depp’s comeback movie after his trial and the people were in such a positive spirit as he entered the red carpet. He’s such a genuine soul because he said ‘hi’ to all his fans and even made time to sign his fans’ collectibles. It was a moment in time.