Since 2001, Maison Dior has loyally escorted its muses and ambassadors from the world of cinema during Cannes’ most glamorous event of the year. A 400-square-meter suite in the Hôtel Majestic becomes an extension of the House’s salons at 30 avenue Montaigne in Paris for last minute fittings, makeup sessions and other elegant touches. The suite provides a plush cocoon where these stars can calmly prepare for the biggest moment in the spotlight, walking up the storied Cannes red carpet stairs. Jérôme Pulis, International Communications VP at Parfums Christian Dior and Olivier Bialobos, International Communications VP of Christian Dior Couture, talk about Dior’s high-profile presence at Cannes.
Dior has been present at Cannes since 2001. What does this involve?
Jérôme Pulis: The main element is the Suite Christian Dior, with a perfect location in the Hôtel Majestic, right across from the red carpet stairs. The entire décor of the 400-square-meter suite reflects the Dior codes. We welcome stars, opinion leaders, journalists and influential bloggers throughout the festival. It’s a very intimate space away from the frenzy that spreads through Cannes each year, an ideal setting for very personalized makeup and fittings. We host leading international magazines and prepare partnerships ahead of the festival to guarantee very extensive coverage in both French and international media.
Olivier Bialobos: The suite is a tremendous vehicle to promote the Dior spirit. The relations between the House and actresses extend well beyond the festival. Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor… Dior has always dressed Hollywood stars! When they wear Dior creations, the actresses let us share the glow of their glamour and star power. It’s a wonderful sign of confidence and something that makes everyone very proud.
J.P.: There’s also a website for members of the media that covers the 12 days of the festival. There are around 180 photos of hundreds of stars wearing Dior posted on the site. In 2013 we had more than 6,000 journalists registered, and the number keeps growing year after year.
The Dior suite in the Majestic is very much an extension of the Dior Salons at 30, avenue Montaigne in Paris. Tell us a little about the personalized experience you offer in the suite
O.B.: Fashion and makeup don’t have exactly the same timeframe. Work on a red carpet gown has to be done well ahead of the festival and requires several fittings. Only the last one is done in Cannes, the others take place in Paris, in our Haute Couture salons on avenue Montaigne. The Dior Suite lets us give actresses the same VIP welcome they receive at avenue Montaigne. They can also take advantage of Dior’s best make-up artists, who are available in the suite. There’s a constant dialogue between Christian Dior Couture and Parfums Christian Dior teams.
J.P.: The Dior Suite in the Majestic is dedicated entirely to Dior Beauty. Supervised by Peter Philips, our new Creative and Image Director for Dior Makeup, the “Dior Pro Makeup” team and some of the most talented makeup artists of their generation do personalized makeup for the actresses. It’s essential to adapt to each actress, and also to the fact that they’ll be going up the famous Cannes red carpet stairs, an incredibly tense experience for them. Since the creation of this unique space we’ve welcomed some of the biggest stars, like Natalie Portman, Monica Bellucci and Sharon Stone, all of whom have placed their confidence in us. There are men too, such as Jude Law or Ryan Gosling.
How does Dior support its muses during the festival ? What type of relationship does the House have with them?
J.P.: Cannes is a totally exceptional event, the ultimate dream, all about seduction, image and representation. When they’re at the festival, our muses have to deal with the pressure of the red carpet and the competition. They’re delighted for a chance to slip away from the camera flashes and be surrounded by professionals who take care of them all year. We have great relationships with them, we’re sort of like an incredible extended family that includes stars like Charlize Theron, Catherine Deneuve or Robert Pattinson!
O.B.: It’s definitely a relationship with a feeling of friendship and confidence. Dior is there to satisfy their needs and help them look radiant on the red carpet. Muses and actresses contact us because they love Dior gowns, Dior service, and Dior style!
Are there any mistakes that should be avoided on the red carpet?
O.B.: You don’t want the coiffure to be too creative combined with cascades of diamond jewelry. That’s a guarantee that the look won’t work.
J.P.: If the makeup isn’t perfect – too little or too heavy – it just doesn’t come off right and looks more like a disguise.