If you’re going to go to the Cannes Film Festival, the most essential thing to pack is Bobbi Brown concealer. This beauty aid is among the most capable on the market for hiding dark circles under the eyes, which, if you’re doing Cannes right, will likely to appear on day two and certainly appear by day three. Why? Because the Cannes Film Festival is an unstoppable free-for-all with days that often begin and end only a few hours apart. At times it feels more like a European fashion show masquerading as a film festival. Even the official press room video screens movie star arrivals on the red carpet rather than any actual movie clips.
Pulsing hotspots like Nikki Beach, Baoli and the sponsored brand party of the night are places for beautiful people to see and be seen. Now in its 67th year, the 2014 gathering was no exception, with movie stars, celebrities and guests alike appearing in a diverse range of day an evening wear over the course of the 12 day spectacle.
This year’s looks featured enduring trends of platform heels, lace dresses, sheer fabrics and ruched or pleated ensembles. Black and whiteremained clear favorites with splashes of neon orange or yellow making an appearance on The Croisette. Updo hairstyles were more often seen than long locks, usually twisted into braids or loosely gathered at the nape of the neck. Makeup trends featured a matte red or coral lip as the emphasis on the face.
Since Cannes is so walkable, many a smart lady reveler carried her heels in a collapsible bag and wore flats on the treks between pop up beach parties and nightclubs. Parties often hit their stride at around two a.m., and continue full force until six in the morning, so pacing oneself is essential.
If you go, some of the best people watching is at the iconic Palais red carpeted steps, as well as at promotional events along the Boulevard de laCroisette, at clubs like Nikki Beach and Bâoli and in the lobby of centrally located hotels like the InterContinental Carlton Cannes, where a majority of celebrities and studio bigwigs lay their heads. Dress up and you can grab a drink in the gracious lobby, as a parade of elegant and glamorous people float through on their way to the evening’s film premieres and parties.
Despite the seriousness that many clearly take their wardrobes, the overall vibe at Cannes is relaxed, befitting the Côte d’Azur. Networking is everyone’s focus, so it’s not difficult to meet new people and decide on evening plans by word-of-mouth.
The more you wander, the more celebrities you’ll see, but be aware that Cannes is all business for them with brief, highly orchestrated appearances the norm. For the best Cannes experience, go with a group of friends or make new ones. Even though it can be pricey and crazy, being in Cannes for the festival is a great experience because the unique mix of fashion, film, music, celebrities and wealth is a spectacle not to be missed.