Custom Curated Experiences at Cannes Lions (https://www.customcuratedexperiences.com/canneslions) Selected fashion articles for Cannes Lions
Tip From The WSJ : How to Keep Your Look Classy in Cannes
Ad industry veterans advise on how to walk the tightrope of casual and business chic attire in the south of France
Agencies, advertisers and media and technology companies have been planning their panels, events and ad campaign award submissions for months leading up to the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in mid-June. But the most arduous task awaits: Packing for sunsets, yachts and…client meetings.
As the entire ad business descends upon the French Riviera, it’s easy to forget that WiFi-enabled beach huts are crawling with clients and bosses who might not want to see your midriff or hairy toes.
But the glamorous beach town of Cannes is also no place for a suit. According to Cannes veterans, there’s a balance between business and beachy casual. This season, that means voluminous tops, jumpers and simple silk dresses for women, and lightweight pants, sneakers and loafers for men.
“Cannes is not St. Bart’s. It’s not as casual as you think it is,” said MT Carney, founder at consultancy Untitled Worldwide. “The trick is to look finished and done without looking like you tried too hard.”
For the women: Easy breezy
Between the early breakfast meetings, panels and late-night parties, you’ll be strapped for time. Keep the decision-making to a minimum by packing a bunch of breezy sleeveless dresses, one pair of comfortable nude block-heel or wedge sandals, one pair of flat metallic shoes, a straw or neutral clutch with a strap and a black or tan straw hat to block the sun on the long walks from hotel to hotel. Don’t overdo it on the toiletries or sunscreen. French drugstores are your friend!
Celine sneakers featured on the runway at Paris Fashion Week in October 2016. PHOTO: PETER WHITE/GETTY IMAGES
For the daytime, Ms. Carney recommends vintage Levi jeans or sailor pants, a white button-down top from Iris & Ink and a pair of slides with a fun detail like pompoms or Celine sneakers. Tops with volume are also hot right now and perfect for a party or dinner in Cannes, she said. For a quick evening or day-to-night look, go for some of the simpler pieces from Rosie Assoulin or any solid slip dresses. An Hermès scarf for the wrist or neck, or bright statement jewelry, can spruce up any of these looks.
The “Keep It Simple” necklace from Roxanne Assoulin is the perfect accessory for Cannes. PHOTO: CHRIS CALLAWAY/ROXANNE ASSOULIN
If you must wear a swimsuit, keep it classy. “I’m not crazy about being seen in a swimsuit by people you’re doing business with, but sometimes it can be hard,” she said. If you do end up on a beach or by the pool, she suggests a suit with a matching cardigan from Lisa Marie Fernandez, paired with a skirt or jeans.
You never know where you’ll end up in Cannes, where senior executives frequent the grubby “gutter bar” on the Croisette, as well as the fanciest of hotels where a scrappy T-shirt can feel out of place.
“If you end up at the Hotel du Cap, you’ll wish you had a [different] shirt,” she said. Avoid linen “because you end up looking like an old bag of rubbish,” as well as uncomfortable heels, due to all the walking along the Croisette. Once you’re off the Croisette, where the roads aren’t made for heels, “stick to a wedge or platform.”
Flat sandals from Zara can add a pop of color while still allowing you to navigate the Croisette. PHOTO: CHRISTIAN VIERIG/GETTY IMAGES
The most important accessory is a massive pair of sunglasses that “covers as much as of my face as possible,” said Lauren Crampsie, chief marketing officer at Ogilvy. “You’re sweating so much,” she said. “There’s no mascara in the world that can deal with the Cannes daytime weather.” Big bug glasses from Tom Ford should take care of that issue, she said.
This “monochrome frill jumpsuit” from self-portrait is an ideal look for Cannes. PHOTO: SELF-PORTRAIT
She also plans on taking advantage of the volume trend this season with a one-shoulder puffy sleeve top or a Self Portrait jumpsuit with a voluminous top and flared bottoms. “It’s business on the bottom and party on the top,” she said. If that’s too bold, any jumpsuit will do.
Long, cropped dresses that won’t get stepped on on the crowded sidewalks along the Croisette are also easy and stylish for Cannes, she said.
A model backstage at the Silvia Tcherassi Show during Miami Fashion Week showcases a puffy-sleeve, off-the-shoulder blouse and statement sandals. PHOTO: GUSTAVO CABALLERO/GETTY IMAGES FOR MIAMI FASHION WEEK
Amy Armstrong, U.S. CEO of media agency Initiative, opts for dresses “because they’re versatile and don’t wrinkle easily.” She’ll be Cannes-ready with a Diane von Furstenberg belted midi dress and recommends silk dresses in light colors and white jeans with colorful silk tops.
Shoes on her list include Jil Sander white leather sneakers, Rag & Bone mules and “not-so-neutral” satin slingbacks in emerald green. A tote during the day and a clutch at night should get you through the week, she said.
For the men: No hairy toes
Men might not need to worry about their heel height, but finding the right balance between Cannes casual and business casual is no piece of cake.
Be prepared to take off your shoes on some yachts at Cannes. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES
Guys, you can get away with soft loafers, polo or button-down tops and khakis or other pants in light fabrics. And for those shoeless yachts, get a pedicure for goodness’ sake. You’ll like it, we promise.
Jon Cook, CEO of WPP agency VML, said he likes to bring one versatile sport coat, a pair of jeans and casual pants, shorts and T-shirts for the day.
“I’m trying to cutback on linen because of how wrinkly it gets and the shortage of irons in Cannes,” he said. He also plans on steering clear of bright colors that might make it seem “like you’re trying too hard, even for Cannes.”
There’s a raging debate among men about whether to wear a blazer at Cannes. In this photo from 2015, Ryan Seacrest, Pharrell Williams and Bob Pittman pose on the balcony of the palais during the Cannes Lions Festival.PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES FOR IHEARTMEDIA
Doug Ray, president of product and innovation at Dentsu Aegis Network, opts for a pair of khakis, a polo shirt and soft Italian loafers or white canvas shoes during the day and a blazer at night. Despite the heat, he’s not a shorts and flip-flops kind of guy. “I don’t want to see your hairy legs,” he said. “Absolutely no flip-flops.”
Ian Schafer, founder and chairman of agency Deep Focus, said he’s the type who “tries to ‘dress-up’ comfortable clothing, and that includes T-shirts and polo shirts.”
“I don’t take myself or the industry seriously enough to be uncomfortable,” he said.
As more people wear shorts in Cannes every year, Mr. Schafer said he sticks to summer-weight pants. He may be old-fashioned in that regard, but he’s also a rebel when it comes to sports coats.
“No sportcoats, please. If nobody wears them, nobody will feel they have to.”