Once a year the world goes to Cannes, and there the world goes crazy…
This being my second Film Festival, I thought I knew what to expect and how to navigate my way through the crowds, the events and the outfits.
BOY, was I wrong.
In the 6 days I was at the festival I experienced more emotions than in the 3 months before: it was hyped-up excitement, stress, pressure and glory all in one magnificent week. I went with a few close girlfriends and we stayed on a friend’s boat. Glamorous, right?! Usually I agree, but we had the worst Cannes weather in years, and after the port cancelled our berth we were forced to dock in St Tropez which is a 2-hour drive away on a good day…
Disorganisation, drivers that simply didn’t show up, some strange people and lots of fun and champagne pretty much sum up the whole experience. But, even though the weather was terrible, it was still full of beautiful moments and I loved the time spent with my close friend, Polina. Polina works for the stunning jewellery brand Jacob & Co who hosted a beautiful and intimate dinner in Nikki beach Cannes. Noteworthy was, as always, the Chopard party on the roof of the Martinez.
Every event was packed with beautiful people wearing the best of couture and sometimes a foul mood: the weather was cold, windy and looking beautiful was often accompanied by being miserably cold. I may have gotten an elbow or two in the ribs by standing in the path of a freezing socialite.
Despite the weather we went to Eden Rock for lunches, did a few shoots for clients and got surprisingly beautiful shots in the stormy and foreboding backdrop of the sky. The south of France is always lovely, even when it storms.
I was just about to head back home tired after a week of 5-hour nights, chaos and cold when a VERY special invitation floated into my mailbox: Hermann Bühlbecker, owner of my favourite chocolate company, Lambertz Schokolade, was graciously inviting me to his table at the most prestigious of all events: the Cannes Amfar for Aids Gala. My first impulse was excitement. My second impulse bone-deep exhaustion, and my last one was: this is a once in a life-time opportunity and I’ll make the best out of it.
The Amfar is known to be one of the world’s most exclusive event full of movie stars, tycoons and top models, so you can imagine that little old me was nervous about what I was going to wear. Thankfully Netaporter had the stunning Elie Saab sheer lace overall I had been drooling over for months, and with that, a day of preparation including a massage and hair and make-up, I made my way to a driver who was actually on time.
The view after entering the Hotel Du Cap and exiting to the gardens is always beautiful, but that evening the sun broke through the clouds for the first time that week and bathed the green carpet in gold. Elegantly dressed men and women in couture and lace (lots of white) melodically chatted and laughed, sipping pink champagne and enjoying the magnificent atmosphere.
Luckily enough I met many friends from all over the word, including some influencers I met at the fashion weeks. We had a great time, Mr Bühlbecker being the kindest of hosts. After the champagne reception (that alone would have been worth everything) we went into the big hall to a dinner filled with fashion shows, dancers, the auction and – my favourite – Sting singing songs everyone knew and loved. I was especially toughed by Pierce Brosnan’s speach where he shared the story of the struggle with his wife’s cancer and auctioned off his single art piece. It was touching and beautiful to see his love and devotion to her.
The fashion show was beyond perfect with top models showing 33 pieces that were auctioned to a young Albanian gentleman for his wife. He didn’t look sad after paying the $1.6 million – probably because he got 33 kisses from all the top models.
All in all, Cannes was an adventure and worth every second. I’ll just remember to prepare for it like for a marathon next time.