Milla Jovovich Honors Ukraine with Blue Gown at amfAR Gala: 'Wanted to Represent My People'

The Ukrainian-born actress and model wore a blue dress made by Ukrainian brand Lever Couture at Friday's fundraising event

Milla Jovovich attends the amfAR Cannes Gala 2022
Milla Jovovich at the amfAR Cannes Gala 2022. Photo: Vivien Killilea/Getty Images

Milla Jovovich made more than a fashion statement with her look at this year's amfAR Cannes Gala.

The Ukrainian-born actress and model, 46, stepped out Friday in a sky blue, tulle off-the shoulder gown with a turquoise necklace and nude heels. She was joined by her 14-year-old daughter Ever Gabo Anderson, who wore a shimmering yellow mini dress with silver Mary Janes.

Together, the mother and daughter channeled the colors of the Ukrainian flag, and Jovovich opened up about the intention to PEOPLE.

"For me, it was really important coming here... Because I have family in Ukraine that are surviving the war. And I really felt like I wanted to represent my people," she explains. To do so, she chose a gown designed by Ukrainian brand Lever Couture.

amfAR Gala Cannes 2022 – Arrivals

"I just happened to see this designer and look at her pieces of art that she calls gowns," the Fifth Element actress continues. "And suddenly a friend of mine was like, 'Yes, she's Ukrainian.' And I met her and we became friends. And I said, 'You know what? This is the perfect place to showcase how amazing, how intellectual, how educated, how cultured the country of Ukraine is.' "

Jovovich said that she has family on "both sides" of the war, which has been ongoing since Feb. 24 — the first major land conflict in Europe in decades.

"It's a hard time in the world for everybody and the war in Ukraine, COVID, mass shootings, it's horrible," she says. "But today we're here for a good cause. And today is a day of hope because amfAR is doing good things for people and helping people not just survive with HIV/AIDS, but thrive. So finally, there's a shining light in this dark, dark time.

The Resident Evil actress added that while she's involved with many causes at the moment, the work of amFAR deserved a special shoutout.

Milla Jovovich poses during the amfAR Cannes Gala 2022
John Phillips/amfAR/Getty Images

"It's hard to wake up in the morning and feel okay," she said. "But thank goodness this cause is something that can bring us happiness because at least amfAR is doing something to bring hope to so many people that I know personally. So yeah, at least today I can smile."

In February, as the Russian invasion began in Ukraine, Jovovich took to Instagram to share her feelings on the events taking place in her home country.

"I am heartbroken and dumbstruck trying to process the events of this week in my birthplace of Ukraine," Jovovich wrote on Feb. 25 in a post directing followers to a link in her bio containing organizations geared toward helping people still in the country as Russia carried out its invasion. "My country and people being bombed. Friends and family in hiding."

The Russian attack on Ukraine is an evolving story, with information changing quickly. Follow PEOPLE's complete coverage of the war here, including stories from citizens on the ground and ways to help.

Related Articles