Excited to share my diary from Cannes with you guys!!
I’m so excited to attend the infamous, glamorous Cannes Film Festival! I’m heading all the way from LA, with a quick pit-stop in London, to host Chopard’s Trophy, a prestigious award for up-and-coming actors, who are voted for by a top committee including Harvey Weinstein and Colin Firth. My bag is bulging with dresses, heels and bags, and I can’t wait to board the plane.
I arrive on the Riviera early in the morning and the sun is shining. I’ve got a couple of hours off before work starts, so I take advantage and hit the Martinez Hotel pool in this gorgeous red kaftan by Calypso St Barth. This particular hotel is a hive of activity during the film festival, paparazzi and crowds line the entrance, hoping to catch a glimpse of someone famous. And then, we do! On my way back up to the room, Julianne Moore gets into the elevator with my manager and I. She is charming, and stunning. Her skin glows and she flashes everyone a big, movie star smile.
Next it’s up to Chopard’s penthouse suite, to choose some jewels. I’m heading to Ryan Reynold’s new film premiere, Captive, on Friday night, and Chopard is kindly lending me some diamonds for the big event. Boxes of rubies, diamonds and emeralds are opened up in front of me, and bodyguards line the room. Kendall Jenner has just finished choosing hers (she’s beyond gorgeous and leggy in the flesh), and out on the balcony I can hear cheers from the enormous crowd gathering down below, to see Nicole Kidman walk the red carpet for her new film about Princess Grace. The whole experience seems surreal. Is this real life?
Later that night I head backstage in a private room at the Martinez, wearing a peach printed suit by Reiss, ready to host the “Trophee Chopard”. Champagne is poured and I’m introduced to Chopard’s ‘Godmother’, Cate Blanchett, whose eyes truly sparkle when she talks. I love her silver dress with feathers decorating the shoulder…and I also love the fact she’s as tall as me! That never happens with actresses… they’re usually all so petite! We announce 2014’s winners of the prize – actor Logan Lerman and actress Adele Exarchopoulos. Once the show is over, we all head upstairs for Chopard’s party: Jane Fonda glides in looking regal in a gold sequin gown – she’s 76 and looks less than 50! Her posture and poise is incredible, the entire room turns to look.
Later, I quickly change into a cobalt blue dress by Krystof Strozyna and white Jimmy Choo stilettos, and head up the hill to Calvin Klein’s soiree. The party is being thrown in a private villa. It is huge and jaw-dropping: rose petals are strewn over the pool, flame torches burn brightly around the garden, and handsome French waiters serve shots of vodka with spoonfuls of caviar. This is decadence is ever I saw it! To top it all off, a full moon reflects off the ocean, and in the distance we can see fireworks exploding over the bay. Suddenly there’s a commotion as Naomi Watts, Lupita Nyongo, Julianne Moore and Rooney Mara arrive together. The girls are all looking sleek in strapless Calvin Klein gowns, the photographers go crazy, and they all sit at the same table sipping cocktails. Jessie Ware begins to sing on stage, and Lupita jumps up to dance – she seems like a super cool chick, still down-to-earth and enjoying every minute of her rollercoaster life.
The next day I hit the beach for an early morning stroll, wearing PaperDenimCloth jeans and carrying a little Reiss clutch. It’s easy to forget that the rest of the year, Cannes is a quiet, beautiful beach resort with a hidden old town of winding, cobbled streets, full of history and culture – so it’s nice to have a moment of calm before the media storm! On my way back for breakfast, I walk past a bearded and sunglass-wearing Ryan Reynolds. Today I’m invited to a luncheon at another pretty house, thrown by children’s charity Art of Elysium. These guys are amazing – they help children with all disabilities and illnesses to feel good about themselves, whether that be through mentorships, fashion programs, acting programs or art workshops-anything they want to do for fun. So it means a lot to be here and learn more about the charity. Chocolate eclairs make for a delicious dessert, but it’s melting fast in the sun so I’m careful not to get any on my baby blue Reiss jumpsuit! My printed silk jacket is by Hong Kong designer Chicameo, and my cork clutch is a bargain from Accessorize.
It’s our last night in Cannes, and tradition has it that before a premiere you head for an early supper at Le Pizza, a bustling restaurant that has fed the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Bridgitte Bardot and Audrey Hepburn. They make the best pizza I’ve ever tasted, anywhere in the world (I recommend La Reine!), so my friends and I share a glass of Rose and a pizza on La Croisette, the famous street along Cannes shoreline. I’m enjoying the chance to dress casually for a minute, so I don my vintage Levi shorts, Jimmy Choo neon sandals and my mint green Coach bag.
Afterwards it’s time for another quick change, this time into a peach and creamoff-the-shoulder ball gown by British label Beulah. My fabulous hair and makeup artist Micheal Ashton braids my hair up into a messy bun, which makes me feel very elegant. We opt for a tan shimmery eye and bronzed cheeks, to go with the warmth of my dress and jewelry. Next, I put on my rose gold Chopard jewels. My own private bodyguard waits outside my room (how utterly ridiculous to be writing that sentence!?) but yup – the jewelry is worth so much that I have to have Patrick, (a Jason Statham lookalike) follow me around all night. Wow. We head up to Ryan Reynold’s cocktail party (there goes another ridiculous sentence), and spot Rob Pattinson walking through the hotel lobby (ok, this is getting silly). He’s clearly just arrived from the airport, and his hood is up, his head is down, and unbelievably, nobody notices him. Except, of course, my manager Kirsty and I, who squeal like schoolgirls. And I have to say, he’s even cuter in real life.
As the sun sets, it’s time to drive towards the famous Cannes steps, a red carpet that dwarfs the Oscars in size, and is much, much louder. Music blares from speakers and in Europe, the photographers are a little bolder than in America, so they shout like crazy to get an actresses attention. I’m on the lookout for Ryan’s wife Blake Lively. She will be attending this movie premiere and so far she’s been my best dressed of the festival, wowing crowds every night with stunning gowns. I can’t wait to see what she wears tonight! As I step out of the car I’m suddenly terrified: 600 photographers raise their lenses, and it’s my turn to walk the red carpet. I’ve never, ever seen anything like this. But I just remember what my Mom says: ‘Shoulders back, tummy in, aaaand smile’ – which makes me laugh on the inside, so I set off.
A few scary moments later I’m at the top of the steps, and I look back to see Blakearrive in a timeless, elegant black and white voluminous Gucci gown. She sports a red lip and huge, shiny bun in her hair, which calls to mind silver screen sirens of a bygone era. Now that’s how to own the red carpet.