Mesdames, Mademoiselles

Ladies Night in Cannes


Natalia Vodianova, Francisco Costa, and Uma Thurman   
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There are plenty of big-budget box-office draws premiering at Cannes this week—Kung Fu Panda 2 with its Angelina Jolie cameo among them—but at last night's Calvin Klein Euphoria and Calvin Klein Collection-sponsored Independent Filmmakers Project (IFP) fête honoring women in film, the focus was on the few, the small, the indie.

"It's good for us to be involved, obviously," Calvin Klein Collection designer Francisco Costa said at the beachfront party in front of the Hotel Martinez. In town just for the night—he has a Resort collection to produce—Costa lamented the fact that he won't be able to take in any movies, but insisted that "the cause is what matters." The cause, explained IFP Executive Director Joana Vicente, is celebrating women who are doing smart, inspiring work. "This year, there are 30 women filmmakers at Cannes—eight in official selection—which is crazy," she said. Crazy good.

Uma Thurman, who was one of the honorees and is also a judge at this year's festival, has slummed it in the name of art once or twice before. "Craft services," she deadpanned of the on-set differences between working on a studio picture and something more grass roots. "And I usually have to bring clothes from my own closet [for the latter]." There was more fashion talk later on at the evening's unofficial Le Baron after-party, fêting the relaunch of and graffiti artist-slash-nightlife impresario André Saraiva's directorial debut in The Shoe. "It's about freedom," Saraiva said of his short film, although Olivier Zahm, who co-wrote it, took a different view. "It's about the violence of consumerism—how crazy we can become because we are addicted to [it]."

Shopping is an affliction Zahm knows something about. His overhauled site will include Purple Boutique, an e-commerce section stocked with fashion and accessory collaborations "done by our friends," along with an "artistic quality" video gallery and (what else?) a Purple "sex domain." The Shoe's most memorable scene is a steamy and very explicit naked tryst between Kids star Leo Fitzpatrick and Saraiva's real-life love interest, Annabelle Dexter-Jones. Talk about a celebration of women—and the female form—in film.

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