77 YEARS OF REDEFINING FASHION: CANNES FILM FESTIVAL | Forward Mag | News | Tony Ward Couture

Forward Mag

77 YEARS OF REDEFINING FASHION: CANNES FILM FESTIVAL

HOW DID THIS TURN INTO FASHION’S FINEST SHOW?

As much as we look forward to the fashion weeks, the major red carpet events, the international awards, the Haute Couture fashion shows… nothing compares to the fashion scene spotted in the French riviera during Cannes Film Festival.
As the Guardian’s headline ‘Bolder than ever: Cannes fuses film and glamour in unofficial fashion week’; it is indeed an unofficial fashion week with extravagant appearances ahead of the next season.


With the 77th annual Cannes Film Festival around the corner, we look at a glimpse of its history and how it started, with a throwback to the major spotlights of Tony Ward gowns taking over French Riviera’s red carpet.


 
DID YOU KNOW HOW IT STARTED? 

It was September 1938 when an idea, scratched on a piece of paper, in a train from the diplomat Philippe Erlanger, turned into the most important film -or fashion- event over the decades.
He wanted to have an international film festival free of social pressure, constraints and strict guidelines.

This ‘festival’ as he had in mind, was supposed to be launched in May 1938 but never took place on the date due to the war. 
Fast Forward to few years later, it officially kicked off on the 20th of September 1946, and was the first post-war festival where it was -and still is- the ‘Pearl of the Riviera’; The successful festival was a jewel on a coastline and was caught between Venice and Hollywood.
It exceeded beyond that into the Fashion Scene.

 



FROM GRACE KELLY TO PRINCESS DIANA, AND SO MUCH MORE

While the first few festivals were mainly society events, with almost every film that was screened and showcased was selected and awarded with a prize, the spotlights and cameras were mainly on the stars showing up in their statement gowns from all four corners of the globe, while snapping their famous red steps or as we call it ‘Montée Des Marches’ moment.

It was the constant media and press attention that was increasing year after year, and that made it into a world-famous, legendary event.
In the 50s, the Festival’s attention and popularity exploded even more with the presence of celebrities such as Kirk Douglas, Sophia Loren, Grace Kelly, Brigitte Bardot, Cary Grant, Romy Schneider, Alain Delon, Simone Signoret, Gina Lollobrigida and Pablo Picasso.
It kept on growing with these prestigious, iconic figure with also the Prince and Princess of Wales, Charles and Diana, who were invited to the 40th Cannes Film Festival in 1987. 
Yes their appearances marked the press, but it was what she was wearing that attracted the media even more, her baby-blue diaphanous tulle Catherine Walker gown is all they remember.

   
TONY WARD IN CANNES FILM FESTIVAL 

With the Ateliers hustling and bustling, the dresses going from one floor to another, personalized sketches here and there, gowns flying to all four corners of the world between stylists and celebrities… It’s that time of the year…again: The Cannes Film Festival.

More than 150 dresses transported with the team to the festival, days before it kicks off, for the endless, around the clock fittings.
This momentum has been going on for the Tony Ward Fashion House for more than 15 years now.

From Jane Zhang in 2014 , Dorra Zarrouk and Malika Sherawat in 2018, Paola Turani in 2019… Fast forward to the 2020’s, The Tony Ward dresses were spotted and exploded all over the international press with the Getty images roaming around the channels. 

In July 2021, Leonie Hanne’s butterfly effect moment was invading our social media channels and medias, as well as Tamara Kalinic’s sequined shell dress that hit the spotlight in so many ways, Karen Wazen in a ‘Glitch Gaze’ Couture gown, Jessica Wang’s voluminous gown and so much more…

Then comes May 2022; special appearances in a capsule collection, with Jasmine Tookes and Josephine Skriver snapping a ‘double trouble’ Montée Des Marches moment, and a dozen of others embracing the red carpet in Tony Ward dresses.

Last year’s festival was another successful year of more than 20 iconic, diverse woman embracing the Croisette in their own way in an another Couture capsule collection: from Eva Longoria, Rafa Kaliman, Kat Graham, and many others.



WHAT’S NEXT?

Cannes Film Festival is now the world’s most prestigious gathering and an International cinematographic festival… When we say cinematographic, we also mean the theatrical looks that we spot on the red carpets and in the private parties held between the film screenings; It’s a season on its own in the midst of the other collections for Tony Ward Fashion House, that has faced many beautiful challenges that we anticipate more and more each year.
Onto the next one!


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