The celebrities set to walk the red carpets over the next 11 days may have been in intense preparations, but even the most hectic schedule of manicures, pedicures, designer dress fittings and personal training can’t compare to the work going on in certain high jewellery ateliers over the last few months. Because the Cannes Film Festival is an annual showcase not just for the best film talent, but for the world’s most spectacular jewellery, with millions of Euros-worth of gemstones paraded up and down the Croisette every night.
Central to the sparkling celebrations is Chopard, the Swiss high jewellery brand which has been the official partner of the Film Festival since 1998, when the brand’s co-president Caroline Scheufele, a film aficionado, offered to redesign the Palme d’Or Trophy (it’s now made entirely from Fairmined Gold, as are all of the company’s sustainable Green Carpet Collection jewels).
Every year the Chopard high jewellery atelier in Switzerland prepares a set of one-of-a-kind Red Carpet Collection jewels whose number corresponds to the edition of the festival – so this year it has created 70 pieces, a selection of which we can expect to see on the red carpet. Images released before the Festival show that bold coloured gemstones continue to dominate; chandelier earrings are set with rubies, emeralds and tanzanites, while a selection of statement cuffs and earrings are forged from brightly-hued titanium and set with a rainbow of gemstones in the house’s signature ‘Paisley’ pattern.
The big news for Chopard this year though is its collaboration with Rihanna, who has designed high jewellery pieces inspired by her colourful Bajan roots. Rihanna herself gave us a preview of the range in the vibrant floral earrings she wore at the Met Gala and the Grammys, but we can expect her to model more pieces during her Cannes appearances.
Another big player in the Cannes jewellery showcase is fellow Swiss brand De Grisogono (whose founder, Fawaz Gruosi, is the ex-husband of Ms Scheufele). Every year the brand hosts a star-studded party at the fabled Hotel du Cap Eden Roc, with the likes of Sharon Stone, Naomi Campbell and Cara Delevingne regular attendees. Known for its bold, daring designs featuring exuberant coloured gemstones in abstract shapes, this year the jeweller is set to unveil a high jewellery bracelet rumoured to have a seven-figure price tag.
Featuring five sizable cabochon emeralds totalling 77 carats surrounded by a sea of irregular pave-rubies along with diamonds in blackened gold, the bracelet will be on display alongside a suite of new De Grisogono jewels at the Hotel Martinez for the duration of the festival, and may even grace the red carpet – although on whose wrist we’ll have to wait and see, as the brand is remaining tight-lipped as to the identity of its Cannes 2017 poster girl.
Nicole Kidman is sure to attract a lot of attention this year, starring in a number of films including Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled, so we can be certain of seeing her draped in a few thousand carats over the next week or so. Kidman veers towards more classic pieces on the red carpet – at the Baftas in 2017 she wore more than 130 carats of white diamonds by Harry Winston, a brand she regularly turns to, while she also has a longstanding relationship with vintage jewellery specialist Fred Leighton, so we may be treated to some 18th or 19th-century treasures amongst the modern bling.
Newly-appointed Cannes juror Jessica Chastain will also be making regular appearances at photo calls and previews. An official ambassador for Piaget since 2015, she almost exclusively wears the brand on the red carpet, so expect to see her showcasing some of their newest sunny, retro-influenced pieces over the course of the Festival.
Elsewhere, Bulgari, De Beers, Cartier and more are also likely to lend their most precious creations for this most glamorous parade – so watch this space to see what jewellery trends emerge over Cannes 2017.