The two-minute red carpet walk is serious business at Cannes. With a galaxy of A-list film talent, the Cannes red carpet is a worthy rival to the Oscars. Which is why walking it is a frightening prospect — at least for those of us who are not professionals at posing.
On Day 2 of the festival, Chivas, an official partner of the gala, invited me to walk the red carpet. Women spend months planning a red carpet dress. As Eva Longoria told me earlier in the day, “It takes a village to look this good.” Since I had neither the time nor the village, I opted for the safest option — Abu Jani, Sandeep Khosla.
I chose an embroidered coat on top of a deep purple tunic and narrow pants accessorised with traditional kundan jewellery. French girls at the salon then went to work on my hair and face. As we stood for our cars, actor Tilda Swinton walked by while actor Ewan McGregor was lounging in the bar in the hotel.
The Cannes red carpet works like a well-oiled machine. There are minders on the carpet who tell you how quickly to walk and which photographers to pose for — both sides are flanked by photographers in tuxedos.
Our group was led by a hostess, who helped us negotiate the carpet. She advised us to stop for a minute at the top of the steps, and look back. Of course non-celebrity faces like us troop up the steps in about five to seven minutes while the real stars saunter slowly posing for each side of photographers. As this happened, we were sitting inside watching the red carpet action on the screen.
The genius of Cannes is that the foundation of this festival is the films. So we did spend the evening preening and fussing over fashion, but what knocked our breath out was French actor Marion Cottilard starrer Rust and Bone. It reaffirmed, there simply is no other festival like Cannes, really!