By Hillary Latos
Every year the Cannes Film Festival and the Monaco Grand Prix are the unofficial rites of passage for the international jet set; the festival serves as a transition from spring to summer and attracts Hollywood royalty and actual royalty alike, movie moguls and titans of industry, and playboys and aspiring starlets. They all converge in the South of France for a 10-day whirlwind glamourfest. Though the heavy rains literally put a damper on the festivities, even gusty storms couldn't keep the glamour at bay.
Opening the festival was the much-touted Great Gatsby that was kicked-off with an after-party that resembled a decadent club that Gatsby might actually have frequented. It was created under a tent at the end of a pier and beneath the steady drumbeat of thundering rain. Some of the best soirees in Cannes were not the film premieres, but the parties surrounding the festival. On Monday, Chopard threw an "In Love with Cinema" bash that celebrated iconic kisses on the silver screen; it was held on the historic Art Deco luxury yacht, Savarona, which was once owned by Mustafa Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic. Set in the middle of the Mediterranean, guests such as Uma Thurman, Naomie Harris, Petra Nemcova, Selita Ebanks and Erin Heatherton enjoyed a bevy of entertainment including a high fashion jewelry show, dancers, a magician and dancing under the stars. That same night across the sea was billionaire Paul Allen's exclusive and intimate soiree aboard the smaller of his super yachts: the 303-foot Tatoosh. Invitations to his legendary parties are always the most sought-after in Cannes—this year the theme was Black and White in the Great Blue. Celebrities who stopped by for a late supper and dance to Paul's live band included Adrian Brody, Goldie Hawn, Zachary Quinto and Milla Jovavich. One of the highlights of the festival is Fawaz Grousi's annual De Grisogono Seduction Dinner and after-party—epitomizing what Cannes is all about with brimming glamour, supermodels, socialites and A-list celebs. Held at the Hotel du Cap in Eden Roc, this year DG's after-midnight party was so popular, guests who aren't used to waiting were held at the gate for an hour after the reported start time of the party. Anxious to enter, they almost caused a stampede with their cavalcade of Louboutins and Blahniks. Once inside, after dancing to LMFAO and imbibing bottles upon bottles of champers, guests forgot about the near-death experience and danced the night away. After the party, select guests partied past sunrise at Leonardo DiCaprio's after-after-party in Europe's most expensive private property, the Villa Dilecta.
After all of this partying, by day celebs retreated to the luxury lounges. This year GBK hosted a Hollywood Boudoir retreat at the exclusive Villa Madrid where guests were gifted with stays at the luxe Swarovski-owned Sparkling Hill Resort in British Columbia, a Kindle for support of the Beat Liver Tumor organization, and jewelry and handcrafted gifts from the Artisan Group and Renee by Renee. Nathalie DuBois held her annual DPA luxury lounge at the Carlton Hotel that attracted A-listers in town who were generously gifted with Marchon's designer sunglasses, red carpet insoles Cape Breton's designer bags, Sal y Limon bracelets, a trip to the private island of Taha'a and Bora Bora in French Polynesia, and Bleu Lab reversible jeans as well as beauty products from Cowshed, Chateau Berger, Bio Effects, and Cil d'Or.
On Thursday the party continued to Monaco for some pre-Grand Prix festivities. Playing host to the opening festivities was Vijay Mallya, owner of Kingfisher and the Sahara India Formula 1 team, who held his annual lavish Maharajah-themed bash aboard his mega-yacht: Indian Empress. Among the 600 movers and shakers were F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone, McLaren's Martin Whitmarsh, Pirelli's Paul Hembery, Prince Albert and Charlene, and various race car drivers who partied with the 600 guests into the wee hours of the night.
Opening the Grand Prix is Amber Lounge's highly anticipated 3-day extravaganza held at the Le Meridien Beach Plaza. To open the exclusive pop-up lounge, the worlds of fashion and sport united to support the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund that featured a fashion show by couturier Andrew Gn and also a men's show with international sport stars of the F1 race gracing the catwalk dressed in Pal Zileri. Following the show, celebrities and socialites mingled in the lounge to enjoy the Mumm Champagne reception and world-class DJ sets. Epitomizing the glamour and energy of Monaco, Amber Lounge was the destination on Saturday and Sunday night for the closing party—attracting some of the biggest stars from the music, film and sports industries including the Monaco Grand Prix F1 winner Nico Rosberg who celebrated his victory into the wee hours of the night. •