Inside Look at Cannes Dressing
“When someone looks at photo of an actress on the red carpet, they only see the dress and the result. Immediately, they decide they either like the look, or they don’t,” says Elie Saab’s communication director Emilie Legendre, the mastermind behind the likes of Jessica Chastain, Jane Fonda, Sonam Kapoor, and Eva Green’s gowns for the Cannes Film Festival this year. “For us, it’s a long and detailed process to make sure everything looks absolutely perfect.”
Since these looks are subject to snap judgments, the business of creating them has to be equally (if not more) cutthroat, and few red carpets have a bigger stage than Cannes. Last week, all eyes were on the glamorous city in the south of France, where the 67th annual Festival de Cannes was taking place. Of course, the movies were the centerpiece of the event, but what we’ll remember most was what the stars wore.
Several of our favorite looks were the work of Legendre (who has been heading up Elie Saab’s Cannes efforts for over 10 years). In between last-minute fittings, she revealed some behind-the-scenes secrets, exclusively to ELLE.com.
You guys are quite selective when deciding whom to dress. Once you have decided to work with an actress or model, what is the process like?
The most important thing we have to take into consideration: What is her role in Cannes? Why is she here? To me, the selection of the dress relies on what is she doing here. If it’s your premiere, you want to go for it and please the people looking at you. If you are just here as a guest, you don’t want to outshine anyone.
Related: Best Beauty From the 2014 Cannes Film Festival
If you are dealing with a young actress and it’s her first time at the festival, what is your approach?
When she wants to go over-the-top, I advise against it. You can’t start like this because what will you wear when you are accepting an award or a member of the jury? You have to build on your looks.