A heady mix of Hollywood glamour and European love of cinema has arguably made Cannes the best of the world’s film festivals. And that’s without even mentioning its fabulous position on the Côte d’Azur, perfect beach weather, and achingly beautiful people.
Each year since 1946, around 27,000 celebrities, filmmakers, journalists and film industry players pour into this sun-soaked French Riviera town to promote films, strike deals, network, and get snapped by the paparazzi. It’s a dazzling intersection of art, finance and stardom, where selected films are honored and the artists who make them hope to be awarded a coveted Palme d’Or (Golden Palm).
But beyond its status as a film awards ceremony, the festival is massively influential. It can claim to have successfully promoted Italian neorealism, Nouvelle Vague (French ‘New Wave’ cinema) and modern American cinema. It has provided the platform on which the careers of some of the greatest filmmakers of our time have been launched—think Fellini, Buñuel, Visconti, Antonioni, Altman, Coppola, Scorsese, among a great many more.
Right from the start, the Cannes Film Festival has also been a key diary date for both iconic and aspiring stars of the screen. Arguably, the hoopla started in 1955, when a wholesome young beauty called Brigitte Bardot—who at that stage had appeared in very few films—arrived in Cannes and instantly became the poster girl for liberated women everywhere. The previous year, Grace Kelly, an American actress of luminous beauty and exquisite style, had visited Cannes with Cary Grant to work on a movie with Alfred Hitchcock. But it was her attendance at the Cannes Film Festival a year later that caused a press furore: that was when she met Prince Rainier of Monaco. The rest, as they say, is history. The dye was cast, and Cannes in May became not just the premier creative melting pot, but the venue to see and be seen.
This year’s 67th edition, held from May 14–25, was no exception when it came to eye candy. Never mind the movies, all eyes and camera lenses were trained on the effortless style of a cavalcade of celebrity beauties that graced la Croisette in jaw-dropping Italian couture, each and every custom-made gown awash with sparkling crystals from Swarovski. Frankly, the movies were simply an added bonus…But don’t take our word for it—see what you think.
Photography for Armani Privé: SGP by Stefano Guindani.