CANNES IN THE CAN: The 11-day festival ended Sunday on a fashionable note, with Elizabeth Hurley, Monica Bellucci, Dame Elizabeth Taylor and Meg Ryan making trips up the Palais steps in style. Among the highlights:
The Fashion Fete: The French Riviera turned into the Italian Riviera Wednesday night when, in his usual flamboyant fashion, Roberto Cavalli hit Cannes with a flurry of leopard prints, lovely ladies and lots of leg-baring dresses.
The presentation of his current spring collection, and the dinner, was held at the Palm Beach Hotel and Casino and sponsored by Chopard and Paris Premiere. It was the most fashion-y event all week, and attracted an international set of Cavalli lovers including Serena Williams, Mouna Ayoub, Kiera Chaplin, Natalia Vodianova, Jeanne Moreau and a multitude of jet-setters.
Even Miramax honcho Harvey Weinstein showed up with his pulchritudinous entourage, sounding like quite the fashionista himself, quipping, “I love all the outfits, especially the ones on Caroline Parsons, my favorite model right now.” It’s a good thing Alek Wek, Anouk and Karolina Kurkova didn’t hear him backstage, where they shimmied into Cavalli’s leather corset dresses and killer heels. “Ah, what are we going to do with Mr. Cavalli?” asked Anouk, raising her eyebrow mischievously. “Bite your tongue!” laughed Wek, “He’s so in love with his wife he wouldn’t notice.”
After the ladies strutted down the runway, they joined the dinner guests, who table-hopped more than they ate. As Moreau played a card game on her dinner plate, she rhapsodized in her gravelly voice about the clothes she’d packed for the festivities. “Hedi Slimane made me two smokings, Karl Lagerfeld made me the jacket I’m wearing tonight, as well as a divine silver dress.”
Williams also had clothes on the brain. “Since I’m designing my own line, I’m getting really inspired by everything I’m seeing tonight. I’ll never give up my Cavalli, though.”
And a few tables away, an eagle-eyed Mouna Ayoub recognized the leather corsets as the handiwork of Mr. Pearl. “A good corset isn’t constricting, it’s womanly. I don’t care if you’re as thin as Karolina. Every woman can benefit from wearing one.”
A stranger to neither modeling nor movies, Kiera Chaplin, who took a turn on the Cavalli runway, declared, “I think the whole point of tonight is to be sexy and have fun.” As Cavalli himself wrapped her in an embrace, he echoed the sentiment, “This night has been amazing.”
The Latest Model-Actress: Natalia Vodianova, in town to bow as L’Oréal’s newest poster girl, also found time during her two-day stay to attend her first premiere, “Les Invasions Barbares,” by Denys Arcand. She was unexpectedly moved by the movie. “I cried seven times. I cried so hard I had to stop myself because I didn’t want to ruin my face,” she said. “It’s my job to be beautiful.”
The Other Chaplain: Newly minted Angeleno Kiera Chaplin may have hit Cannes just to walk in Cavalli’s runway show, but her grandfather Charlie was also the subject of one of the festival’s most anticipated films, “Chaplin…” by Richard Schickel. Movies are still in her blood, but she prefers to dabble in the industry from the other side of the camera. Kiera is now running Limelight Features, the production company started by her father, is still at work on her first album, an untitled collection of songs she describes as “sexy electro-rock” and she’s planning a wedding to Alé de Basseville, the Frenchman she met in Paris and has been dating for the past two years. But don’t count on the nuptials (no date set) being traditional. Kiera sports a one-year-old ring of skull tattoos around her upper left arm, and a skull engagement ring. “I have a skull fetish,” she admits. “It’s what’s inside all of our heads, after all.”
Outbid: One famous Elizabeth Taylor fan, Sir Elton John, found himself leaving a recent Cannes benefit for Cinema Against AIDS without a prized photograph that was up for auction. Helmut Newton’s portrait of a bejeweled Liz in her swimming pool, autographed by the star, went for a high bid of $45,000 to Moty Spector, president and chief executive of Vivid Collection, the diamond company. That was three times its estimate. Well, why not? “She is a true lover of diamonds and epitomizes beauty and sophistication,” Spector said.
JEANS, ITALIAN STYLE: For those concerned that Donna Karan and DKNY have been hosting too many parties lately, fear not. The designer’s next big event on June 25 is scheduled in Milan, where DKNY Jeans turns a tram repair station into a party that attempts to re-create the spirit of New York. Karan’s bringing over the New York band, The Rapture, plus David Visan from Buddah Bar and Kris Bones from Genaside 2 London.
IDOL BEHAVIOR: Apparently “American Idol” break-out Kelly Clarkson really is keeping it real. Eschewing a stylist to wardrobe her every move, Clarkson scooped up five items at Horn last week for her June 13 movie premiere of “From Justin to Kelly,” along with the related promotional activities. Co-star Justin Guarini was there, giving her support every step of the way.
In the bag: A champagne Jenny Packham Forties-flavored silk chiffon dress, ticketed at $1,000; a chocolate halter dress designed by Horn owner Susanne Zenter, $298, for the film after party, and a Plein Sud mocha brown sleeveless wrap dress with leather straps, $800. She also bought a Twin-Set camouflage tank top, $150, and $220 Joie chocolate satin cargo pants.