The Cannes Film Festival Made a Glittering Comeback This Year

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Photo credit: Lionel Hahn - Getty Images
Photo credit: Lionel Hahn - Getty Images

Just judging from the fabulous frenzy inside the Hotel Martinez last month, pulsating for two weeks straight with a revolving door of A-list celebrities, models, and their entourages, there was no lingering doubt: the Cannes Film Festival was back in all of its BC (as in Before Covid) glory. Great timing, too, given it was the annual bacchanal's 75th anniversary. (To be fair the event did take place last year but was a much subdued version.)

There was Dame Helen Mirren, still as queenly as ever in her hotel bathrobe, taking in the Côte d'Azur view from her balcony before lording over the red carpet later that evening in full metallic regalia. There was Bella Hadid, in vintage Chanel, stopping for selfies with fans gathered outside before skipping off to a gala. There was Elle Fanning heading out for a stroll down the Croisette, and Anne Hathaway checking in for her festival debut (she stars in Armageddon Time).

Photo credit: Joe Maher - Getty Images
Photo credit: Joe Maher - Getty Images

And then of course all the activity on that iconic red carpet lining the entrance to the Grand Théâtre Lumière. Tom Cruise brought platinum movie star sheen to the premiere of Top Gun: Maverick, the highly anticipated sequel to his 1986 blockbuster, complete with the spectacle of a surprise fighter jet flyover and post-screening fireworks.

Photo credit: Francois G. Durand - Getty Images
Photo credit: Francois G. Durand - Getty Images

And so many more premieres: a Baz Luhrmann biopic (Elvis), a George Miller fantasy with Tilda Swinton and Idris Elba (Three Thousand Years of Longing), a controversial David Cronenberg horror with Kristen Stewart, Viggo Mortensen, and Léa Seydoux (Crimes of the Future), and a dark comedy by Swedish filmmaker Ruben Östlund starring Woody Harrelson (Triangle of Sadness) that got an 8-minute standing ovation and went on to win the Palme d'Or. Who says cinema is dead?

Not even Julia Roberts, who is currently filming a new movie with Ethan Hawke and Mahershala Ali in upstate New York, could resist a brief two-day interlude to the sunny Riviera to partake in the action. For her first Cannes appearance since 2016, when she eschewed the notoriously strict red carpet dress code by going barefoot—here, even paparazzi must wear black tie—the Gaslit actress chose a black Louis Vuitton tuxedo jumpsuit that paired quite nicely with the colossal 100-carat yellow diamond hanging from her neck, a masterpiece created by Chopard.

Photo credit: Stephane Cardinale - Corbis - Getty Images
Photo credit: Stephane Cardinale - Corbis - Getty Images

If Cannes had a fairy godmother, her name would be Caroline Scheufele. For a quarter century, Chopard's free-spirited co-president and artistic director has been showering the festival—and its highest profile attendees—in sumptuous diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, and gold, while presiding over a whirlwind nonstop itinerary of galas and parties, including the Trophée Chopard, established in 2001 to honor two rising talents in the film world (Doctor Strange's Sheila Atim and Dunkirk's Jack Lowden received the prizes, given to them by Julia Roberts).

Photo credit: Vittorio Zunino Celotto - Getty Images
Photo credit: Vittorio Zunino Celotto - Getty Images

She also conjures up a fantastical Red Carpet Haute Joaillerie collection to debut each year at Cannes. For 2022, in celebration of the festival's 75th birthday—as well as the 25th anniversary of Chopard as its official partner—Scheufele created 75 one-of-a-kind gems inspired by the seventh art. "Cinema was my muse," she tells T&C, "and I dreamed up this collection as a free interpretation of my favorite films, those that have had a lasting impact on me, whether through the worlds they portray or certain legendary scenes from cinema’s hall of fame."

Photo credit: Chopard
Photo credit: Chopard

An exquisite diamond-encrusted rose brooch calls to mind Charlie Chaplin's City Lights, his first sound film. "My absolute passion for Chaplin's genius and his capacity to create emotion sparked the idea," Scheufele says. Elsewhere, the fairy tale of Cinderella is reimagined in the form of a whimsical pumpkin ring studded with spessartite garnets and tsavorites, which opens to reveal a tiny diamond slipper. More than 400 hours of craftsmanship went into recreating the black and white spots of 101 Dalmatians for a diamond bracelet, while a giant peace sign pendant rendered in peridots, garnets, tourmalines, sapphires, and apatites evoke the exuberance of 1979's Hair.

Photo credit: Chopard
Photo credit: Chopard


The glittering Côte d'Azur plays muse, too. Could there be a more apt accessory for the most luxurious coastline in the world than a pair of emerald-encrusted fish earrings made of featherlight titanium? Or strands of emeralds and tourmalines and one mesmerizing opal in the middle of it all to catch that seaside light just perfectly so? Or a brilliant necklace anchored by a 13.69-carat flawless D-grade diamond, which would've been worthy of Grace Kelly's wardrobe for To Catch a Thief, famously filmed right in town?

"The films I chose have very different profiles," says Scheufele, who is already at work on next year's Red Carpet collection. "What they have in common is the ability to draw the viewer into a fascinating universe–just like high jewelry!"

Photo credit: Pascal Le Segretain - Getty Images
Photo credit: Pascal Le Segretain - Getty Images


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