Getting onto the Red Carpet during the Cannes Film Festival is a bit of a mystery, and unless you have studio or French filmmaking connections there's no guarantee your trip to the festival will include a walk down that beautiful carpet into the Palais.
Our short film Eclipse was in the festival, and I was set to present on my recently completed feature The Other One at The Majestic with our film's supporting partner HP. However, this didn't guarantee an invitation and as I've learned twice now, sometimes an invitation to a premiere can arrive without much warning. One week before heading out to Cannes, I was invited to attend the Red Carpet for Mike Leigh's Mr. Turner, his directorial swan song!
I'm a proud Chicagoan, so if I could give a little PR bump to an amazing Chicago designer, I would absolutely do so. And, if I was fortunate to have that happen, I certainly would need the right shoes, jewelry and encouragement from a stellar stylist, to know it was all coming together. A gal's gotta prepare.
Naturally I reached out to my film's make-up team Jen Brown and Martina Sykes. Lana McAllister, a wardrobe designer for film who had just wrapped another film with Martina, set up a meeting for me with a fabulous Chicago designer!
Enter Anastatia Chatzka! http://anastasiachatzka.com/ Click on her site and you'll see not only her amazing collection, but a familiar face!
This lady, who is a pocket dynamo and super cool, made this custom dress for me in three days!
Anastasia's dress is a work of art, yards of emerald teal material with gold thread, draped just so, and embellished with matching lace and bead appliqués. The balance was then making sure it all came together in a tasteful and elegant way. I also needed a killer and comfortable heel to keep the dress and it's three foot train floating perfectly.
To bring it all together the amazing Hanna Lee Ashbaugh, stylist and personal shopper, brought together the perfect options for my Red Carpet debut. Hanna found three elegant options, but it was the gold four inch drop earrings, that tied it together, and she knowingly advised me to stay away from a necklace, which looking back at the pictures, I am so glad she did so! I have never loved my décolletage more!
I've never been more comfortable and happy to walk with perfect confidence knowing Hanna had helped me complete and rock the Anastasia Chatzka gown!
After debating clutches we went with my grandmother's vintage gold clam shell clutch and Hanna layered gold bangles on my wrist to finish the details.
Shoes! She found an amazing deal on a gorgeous pair of nude Stuart Weitzman platform wedges, which did not disappoint. They were the perfect height and perfectly stable for the uncertain pavements and roads of Cannes.
Another huge surprise which didn't hurt the confidence, was the Hair and Make-up Artist HP treated me too for the event! THANK YOU, THANK YOU HP! Here's a few more fun views of the evening!
One last look from behind to see the hair and thank the man, who's with me every step of the way! I love ya Mr. Lunsford.
And... when at the Cannes Film Festival always bring another dress, because you never know when another invite will fall into your lap!