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July 25 2014

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Julianne Moore’s Stylist Leslie Fremar Talks Dressing the Star for Cannes

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Julianne MooreThere’s no red carpet quite like the grand staircase at the Cannes Film Festival. With the blink of an eye, international press set off a firestorm of camera flashes that captures looks, turns, and glances from every angle imaginable. And a memorable appearance by an actress at Cannes can help land leading roles and cast her into a different style stratosphere—no pressure, of course. Just hours before Leslie Fremar’s client Julianne Moore made her first appearance at the festival for David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars yesterday (wearing custom Louis Vuitton, no less), we sat down with the stylist to talk why Cannes is different than any other red-carpet, and what we can expect to see at the grandest festival of them all.

When Cannes approaches, what are your first thoughts? What is the prep?
It’s exciting because it’s probably the only festival, or the only time, where people can go all out and wear whatever they want. It’s kind of like that fantasy moment where anything goes and you can be more elaborate and it’s so much grander. At the Oscars and Golden Globes, people are a little more concerned about the critics, and here I feel like it’s a lot freer…it’s fun. There’s a lot of prep. It depends which approach you take, whether you’re having things custom-made or if you’re just trying on couture. You decide with your client where you want to go, and then you kind of push it from there. Julianne actually has three red carpets, so she’s wearing one vintage dress that we’ve been working on for a while, and then she has one custom dress, and then she has another that’s couture.

How is Cannes different from other red carpets in terms of styling?
I think that for stylists, it’s more fun because you can choose things that are a little bit more avant-garde and that have a more European sensibility. I like to push it a little bit and not pick just a safe bias-cut dress.

Are there any challenges unique to Cannes? If so, how do you handle them?
With the Oscars or something like that, you’re with your client getting them ready. It’s unusual to travel to Cannes to help them, so you’re sending them off with these major looks and you’re just hoping that everything goes smoothly. Usually the fashion houses will step up and help. So if she’s wearing a European brand, someone will usually come meet her and help her get dressed, which is different from the Oscars, where it’s all about the stylist being there and making sure everything goes smoothly.

How do you go about picking looks for Cannes?
I did some research and saw what was out there and went through pictures of Julianne and did multiple fittings, and we just narrowed it down to the looks that we loved. So it’s kind of a trial-and-error process. You’re looking at sketches, you’re looking at actual pieces, and it’s about making decisions together based on what the event is. She has so many things, from day press to the steps to the red carpet to parties, so she went there with lots of clothes. I did her whole wardrobe for her while she’s there, and I think she went with twelve or thirteen looks.

Is there any particular inspiration you have for Cannes dressing? French Riviera or old Hollywood?
No, I think it’s more that I like to support French design houses when my clients are there. It’s kind of fun to be in France wearing a French designer. And it doesn’t have to be that way and it doesn’t always work out that way, but it is nice to celebrate French design while you’re there.

Does you client’s film ever play a role in the styling decisions?
Yeah, I think Julianne’s role in Maps to the Stars is dark and risqué, and I think her outfit will be the same.

Was there any inspiration in particular for Julianne’s looks?
Honestly, I try to stay away from that. When you’re doing someone’s personal wardrobe and all those types of looks, it’s all about keeping it modern and moving forward instead of inspirational and playing on something that already existed. So our momentum is always moving forward, being current, being fashion-forward, and picking something great that she probably couldn’t get away with wearing in America.

Photo: Courtesy of Louis VuittonĀ 

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