Dior, Cannes and Leonardo!
Having driven like loonies to Monaco from Milan we arrived on the steps of the drippingly chic Hotel de Paris looking rather crushed. Giorgio was swiftly spotted by one of his old friends the genius CEO of the house of Dior, Sidney Toledano who of course looked pristinely handsome and relaxed. He was hosting a huge Dior show Cruise 2014 the following evening in the presence of H.S.H Prince Albert and H.S.H Princess Charlene. Would we like to attend? My French is schoolgirl and I just looked sweetly “How lovely”…
The next day was thunderous rain. Soggy palm trees, however, could not dampen the enthusiasm of the Monegasques. They flocked in all their Dior finery to the pop-up fashion tent balanced precariously on the commercial port’s outer wall! Later I found out from Princess Charlene the whole project had been a labour of love for her for two years. I should add that the late Princess Grace was a Dior devotee and Princess Charlene has her own very close relationship with Dior designer Raf Simons.
We had amazing seats right behind Sidney and his wife who had the misfortune to be sitting next to a very impolite American movie star’s guest who insisted on chewing gum as if her life depended on it. Jessica Biel, dressed by Dior, looked as if she genuinely enjoys front row frivolity. Dior spokesperson Liv Tyler, on the other hand, is a real Old School movie star. Fragile and exquisite to look at she gave very little eye contact. A real bona fide beauty. Marion Cotillard and a quiffed Clotilde Courau, both firm favourites of mine, of course are just sexy, French and utterly compelling to watch. The show was greeted with awe as we were thankfully protected from the sheet rain (a last minute installation) and watched terribly tall, thin girls walk up and down in very paired down silhouettes. Not for a curvy girl I am afraid but some of the suits were exquisite.
The show over we all queued up beautifully and jumped into waiting blacked-out cars which ferried us up to the Pink Palace’s Musee Oceanographique. Wow is all I have to say. Of course it is a smaller Palace compared to our own Buckingham Palace but it’s equally very special. I found the Fairy Godmother of Make-Up Pat McGrath and she was making us laugh at her horrendous travel plans. Dior had certainly pulled off a wonderful visual treat – at the end do the huge ballroom there was a small retrospective of Princess Grace’s vintage Dior pieces combined with some newer Princess Charlene pieces. I was horribly pushy and took my own snaps quite shamelessly! Giorgio and I managed to find Eva Cavalli who had come over from Cannes and she was her usual Happy-Go-Lucky self. We had a big week at Cannes ahead of us so I was the bore who started hinting we should leave..so not like me!
Arriving in Juan Les Pins, a small quieter version of Cannes we managed a little siesta before getting ourselves ready for the IWC “For the Love of Cinema” hosted by Georges Kern, the CEO. It’s held at the Hotel du Cap – Eden Roc and is revered as a must go to party. We have been included as part of Tim Jefferies’ posse, as he has been an Ambassador for IWC for I think about 10 years. We had a great table with Tim and his wife Malin and Grey’s Anatomy star Eric Dane. Kate Driver, who was accompanying her actress friend Naomi Watts, had been squeezed out of her seat by the larger than life Harvey Weinstein, and so happily joined our table. I must admit I spent an awful lot of time studying the legendary Christoph Waltz as he was only a breath away.
Supermodel Karolina Kurkova, a Cannes babe looked jawdropping in Balmain and I asked her how she actually had climbed into the leather number. The party moved to a huge marquee where Jay Kay of Jamiroquai put us through our paces. The after-parties in Cannes are total bun fights but Malin and I had been very shrewd and found a great little corner right near the stage in the VIP and steadfastly refused to budge. Paris Hilton was being heavily accosted by young fans wanting to Instagram her and her even younger beau, the model River Viiperi was almost too pretty. Once legendary Jack E from Le Cave took over I knew it was time for me to sneak off. I told you I am a seasoned professional now at Cannes, it’s all about pacing oneself!!
The next day we had a recovery brunch again at the Eden Roc. Giorgio was happy to bump into his old Milan friend Gianluca Passi trying to have a romantic tete-a-tete (as the very contented boyfriend of Jessica Chastain). In real life she is absolutely petite. I dwarfed her. We discovered the Bamfords have a very drinkable local rose called Secret de Leoube and promptly raced through four of them. Did I mention the Jefferies are very bad influences!! As star spotting goes it was quiet until Uma Thurman arrived in casual attire but with a smile to melt hearts.
Next I headed into Cannes to do a filming piece for De Grisogono. Fawaz Gruosi is another of Giorgio’s old buddies and he has one of the most legendary parties at the Festival. He is notoriously naughty whilst being fabulously charming. He was celebrating his 20 years and had made 20 commemorative pieces for the occasion. “Melody of Colours” is one of his new lines and all the pieces were to die for. I am lucky enough to be allowed to borrow from him and I can’t tell you how much I love that!
That night was De Grisogono’s Party and I was squeezed into a very feminine, floaty Ralph Lauren evening dress. A Pucci clutch, my new Cinderella earrings and I was good to go. The red carpet in Cannes is of course a serious thing and you are meant to take it as such. Well one Italian TV star did just that and demanded to be given a second shot at it. The girl had no shame…The cocktail reception was heaven and Fawaz was blessed with impeccable weather. We stood in front of a full orchestra and drank bellinis. My favourite hotter than hot girls are Jessica Hart and Bianca Balti. They certainly are the whole package. Flavio Briatore was in good form with his wife Elisabetta who looked beautiful in racy red.
Tamara Ecclestone looked absolutely gorgeous being escorted by her fiancé Jay Rutland. They were very sweet and quite coy. As friends of hers, Giorgio and I were just pleased to see her so happy… Leonardo di Caprio was of course the Star of the evening. If you try to imagine how many eyes were looking at him, times that by a 1000. He was with his mother, stepfather and his longtime best friend Lukas Haas and seemed to have one of his ecological cigarettes pretty much permanently clamped on. Sharon Stone, I have to say, was a resplendent show piece. She arrived in a red Cavalli dress and made Fawaz look like the cat that got the cream. Sharon is the personification of Cannes. The dinner is always – Why??? But as soon as it’s over the dancing starts and the champagne never stops. Again, I felt the need to steal away at a respectable 3am – no husband in sight!!!
Almost done we had a surprise Cavalli Dinner on their decadent, animal print boat that serves as their HQ in Cannes. Eva and Roberto always have really fun and loud parties. They are excellent hosts and have their old school housekeeper/chef come in and cook proper Italian/Tuscan food for the night. To say we all flocked around the buffet would be very unchic but it’s so delicious and to be fair probably the only party with heavenly food. Kylie Minogue was a guest and was very chatty. I was happy with my pal Olivia Palermo and her BFF Sarah Harris who were making me laugh with her quandary over tough Red Carpet decisions. Giorgio and Johannes Huebl were happy eye balling the various knock out Victoria’s Secret girls who kept on walking by! Duran Duran star Simon Le Bon arrived with a very clean, clipped moustache followed by his band member Nick Rhodes.
They secretly revealed they would be singing at AmFar the following night… Sharon Stone was also holding court and I think I caught a glimpse of her younger sister Kelly who I used to know. Uma Thurman arrived this time dressed to kill and was, I think, a little taken aback by the crush that had formed inside. My old friend Julian Lennon made a late appearance with Princess Charlene where I congratulated her on the Dior show. Truthfully I could have stayed all night but I knew we still had AmFar to get through and that’s an endurance course… I did manage to drag Giorgio with me this time though….
Last but not least and, of course, I have had to keep all the terribly juicy bits out, we found ourselves getting dressed one last time… I had found an incredible black beaded Valentino evening gown and was feeling very sophisticated. Gypsy diamond earrings and I was all set. AmFar is the party everyone dies to go to, it’s now so unbelievably expensive but the tickets literally vanish. We had been included on Tamara Ecclestone’s table and she was right in the front row. Of course it’s a beautiful party; you arrive through the Terrace of the Hotel du Cap and descend down those magnificent steps. It’s all too perfect for words… However the auction is what it’s all about. That and Harvey Weinstein cleverly cajoling all the movie stars in town for the festival to compere and present and basically sing for their supper. Heidi Klum for once did not look her most beautiful, Nicole Kidman was quite reserved, but Sharon Stone was at her penultimate. She is never better than when raising fortunes for Aids charities. She comes alive and her white sheath Cavalli bespoke dress was genius. Needless to say they (Simon de Pury is her side kick) easily raised $25 million. I think a huge thank you goes to Leonardo di Caprio who seemed to be part of every auction lot package! Former Vogue editor-in-chief Corinne Roitfeld added her own touch of fashion magic with an all gold fashion show which featured endless leggy gorgeous creatures. Even brand new mother again (of three boys no less), Eva Herzigova made a little cameo.
I could go on forever but I think to end my week I’ll leave you with the visual – we were in a car around 3am headed to Leonardo’s after after party in a private villa – a sort of pop-up night club if you like! Great if you’re 20 years old but I spent the whole night in the almost pitch black with a vodka – no rocks! That is so not me……