Celebrity stylists on the magic of dressing the stars for the Cannes Film Festival

·3-min read
Photo credit: Francois Durand - Getty Images
Photo credit: Francois Durand - Getty Images

As famous for its unique brand of glitz and glamour as it is for its film-critic credentials, the annual Cannes Film Festival is always a favourite among fashion and movie fans alike. From the finest couture gowns to the most precious of jewellery, the stylists and fashion houses really go above and beyond for this most celebratory - and iconic - of red carpets. After all, who can't instantly picture those famous steps?

Also setting Cannes apart from other recognisable red carpet events is the fact that it lasts for two weeks, and consists of multiple premieres, parties, lunches and dinners - all with an unapologetically glamorous dress code (this is not the place for minimalism). But what goes into dressing the stars for such a moment?

We spoke to six celebrity stylists - Petra Flannery, Miranda Almond, Aimee Croysdill, Georgia Medley, Zadrian Smith and Sarah Edmiston - who shared their all-time favourite Cannes red carpet looks and talked us through the magic behind dressing the A-list for the annual film festival.

Photo credit: Toni Anne Barson - Getty Images
Photo credit: Toni Anne Barson - Getty Images

"I think Cannes is fun to watch because, well, it's the French Riviera, so it has its own sort of je ne sais quoi style," says Miranda Almond, Harper's Bazaar senior fashion editor and personal stylist to Olivia Colman and Kristin Scott Thomas. "It has many, many highly rated films, very brilliant actors, actresses and film directors. There's so much going on away from the ceremony itself. It's a mixture of that old and new that makes it quite interesting."

Petra Flannery, who styles Emma Stone, Zoe Saldana and Emilia Clarke, among others, adds that confidence is everything when it comes to Cannes. "When I'm dressing a celebrity for the red carpet, what I'm trying to achieve is them feeling confident in their fashion," she tells us. "I think when they feel good in what they're wearing, they hit that carpet and they exude confidence."

Photo credit: Barcroft Media - Getty Images
Photo credit: Barcroft Media - Getty Images

According to international fashion director Zadrian Smith, who works with his styling partner, Sarah Edmiston, you can't beat the buzz on the Croisette. "It's like a reunion," he explains. "All the stylists are there, all the PRs are there, all the designers - and it's the best of the best of the film world. You can go to lunch and there will be Spike Lee." Edmiston agrees, adding: "There's an energy and a buzz because things are just happening 27/7, and I do think there's just something special about being on the beach and on the Croisette. At times you do feel like you're in an amazing Cary Grant film. It's just magical."

Watch the full video above, in which each of the stylists discuss their all-time favourite Cannes red carpet moments.

With thanks to: The Savoy London, The Kimpton Fitzroy London and the Santa Monica Proper Hotel.

Video edit: Eleonora Cristin

Digital editor: Sarah Karmali

Fashion editor: Amy de Klerk

LA production: Brooke James and Carolina Takagi


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