The Story Behind Rebecca Hall’s Showstopping Cannes Style

When it comes to red carpet fashion, there’s nowhere quite like Cannes to dial things up to the max. Whether it’s Hollywood actors descending on the city to promote their latest arthouse film, French cinema legends making a cameo appearance in sleek Gallic style, or models hitting La Croisette in couture while in town for a charity gala, the order of the day is a style spectacle on the grandest scale.

While the festival’s jury might be there to weigh in on the films, that’s not to say they can’t have a little fun with their fashion, too. (After all, Cannes also plays host to more red carpet events and brand-sponsored dinners than you can shake a stick at.) And this year, nobody understood the assignment better than Rebecca Hall. Hall’s fellow jurors have certainly delivered their fair share of standout fashion moments over the past 10 days—special shoutouts to Deepika Padukone and Noomi Rapace also—but it’s the actor and Passing director whose looks have proven to be the most dazzling of all, continuing her impressive, playful style streak over the past year.

We first knew we were in for a treat with the showstopping dress Hall wore to the opening ceremony last Tuesday. For the occasion, Hall opted for a dramatic, floor-sweeping custom gown by Gucci in pink and red, bedazzled with crystals for a touch of Old Hollywood glamour. A red lip and a pair of drop earrings, meanwhile, finished the look perfectly. “I only recently brought Rebecca on board with my pink obsession,” says Laura Jones, Hall’s stylist. “When Gucci came back with a few options, that one was an immediate yes, really. When we were doing the fittings, it was the first gown she tried on because we were both so excited about it.”

That same day, Hall also wore a brilliant deconstructed suit by Burberry in green for the juror’s photocall, styled with a colorful turtleneck, asymmetric earrings, and matching thigh-high boots. “I mean, that was another quintessentially Rebecca look,” Jones adds. “In the sense that she loves tailoring, but particularly when there’s something a little bit unexpected. It feels a little bit fun and cheeky, but the construction is beautiful too—it definitely felt like a quote-unquote fashion moment.” As the past 10 days have gone on, there have been plenty more fashion moments where that came from, with Hall going for opulent looks by the likes of Chanel, Prada, and Armani Privé.

For both Jones and Hall, this year’s festival served as an opportunity to have a little fun, especially as it came straight off the back of almost six months of promo for Hall’s highly acclaimed directorial debut, the Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga-starring Passing. “It was a big job,” Jones says of the 20-plus looks she pulled for Cannes, “but we were already in a nice flow.” When it came to thinking about the direction of Hall’s wardrobe as a juror, it was a case of taking stock of her style over the Passing press run and then devising some new and unexpected variations on those codes to reflect the high glamour of the festival. “I sort of looked back at what we’ve done and thought, okay, what is the next thing we could try here?” Jones explains. “How do we put a little twist on this?

As Jones describes it, Hall is the dream client—in no small part thanks to the close rapport they have built up throughout their near-decade of working together. “I mean, she’s fantastic,” says Jones. “I love working with Rebecca. I always think that these long relationships that you build up with clients are better for the both of you. For me as a stylist, it’s wonderful, because I feel that she trusts me, so we can have a lot of fun with her styling. I can put things in front of her that maybe she’s a little bit skeptical of at first, but she’ll give it a try. Rebecca has a strong aesthetic opinion as well, and she’ll know instantly if she likes or doesn’t like something. We’ve been working together for so long that we’ve sort of developed our own sort of styling language that exists between us.”

While Jones is currently at home in New York watching the week’s looks roll out from afar, the pleasure she derives from her job is the simplest one of all. “It always feels really good when your client looks really good, as that’s my job, ultimately,” she says. “My job is just to make sure that she looks and feels amazing.” On that, we can firmly say: mission accomplished.

Here, find all of Hall’s best looks from her whirlwind week at Cannes Film Festival.

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