The Cannes report: Partygoing with Diane Kruger, Mia Wasikowska, Uma Thurman, Olivier Zahm, Clemence Poésy and more!
By Laura deCarufel
Here’s a fashion fan party trick: Determine how many pairs of white jeans Olivier Zahm owns. The Purple Fashion magazine editor-in-chief wore a slim-fitting pair at every major event I saw him at during Cannes: The Chanel Cruise 2012 after-party, where he snapped photos of Kristen McMenemy dancing on a chair, and then nuzzled with It Brit Poppy Delevigne; the Calvin Klein beach-side extravaganza, where he wore his sunglasses at night, sipping champagne near Uma Thurman and Rosario Dawson; and, of course, at the late-night piano bar, which Le Baron, the iconic Parisian nightclub, has taken over during the festival, and over which Zahm presided like hipster royalty.
Zahm’s denim allegiance illustrates one of the festival’s enduring sartorial truths: The rules are different here. During the day, it’s all press passes and ballet flats, but once the sun starts to set, out come the shoulder pads, the sculptural hairstyles, the sequins. You can imagine women in their hotel rooms critically examining their ensembles in full-length mirrors and then conceding, “Well, it is Cannes.” (I didn’t get the memo, and played it safe in white lace, grey silk, and polka dots.)
Another truth: After dark, almost every inch of La Croisette is its own party. The lobby of the Hotel Martinez offered sightings of A-list couples like Diane Kruger and Joshua Jackson and Rachel McAdams and Michael Sheen. I rode the hotel elevator with Mia Wasikowska, watched Clemence Poésy adjust her hair in the café mirror, and brushed past Emily Browning in the hallway.
The official parties were spectacular—you can read more about the Chanel Cruise and Calvin Klein events teeming with model favourites like Lara Stone and Natalia Vodianova in an upcoming print issue of FASHION—but there was also something special about the equally packed Le Baron outpost. Every night, bright young things in black eyeliner crowded into the space: Four storeys joined by a rickety circular staircase. The bottom level was dominated by a bar and a piano. One night, as the clock ticked past 5 a.m., a woman in black curls and red lipstick led the crowd in a spirited sing-a-long. The sight of French hipsters, eyes wet with emotion, crooning “Roxanne” and Crystal Waters’ “Gypsy Woman” seemed to sum up the Cannes experience: Très surreal, yes, and très special.