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Cannes: Chopard Bash Had Stars Grinning Hours Before Stunning Heist (Column)

Solange Knowles Performing Swart Inset - H 2013
Solange Knowles performing at Chopard's party

In her latest Film Files column, Sharon Swart reports from the brand's lavish party, where Solange Knowles serenaded young stars Bianca Suarez and Jeremy Irvine, decked out in borrowed jewels just before the shocking $1.4 million robbery.

Cannes is starting to look more and more like Sundance in the go-go days of the dot-com boom -- but on steroids. Sponsors and swag dens have multiplied here over the past decade, but this year things seem to have reached a new high -- before, that is, it hit a stunning low.

On Friday afternoon, news broke that official Cannes sponsor Chopard had been rocked by a robbery -- $1 million worth of Chopard jewels were stolen from a hotel. Chopard has been bedazzling talent around town and had just thrown a bash for their Chopard Trophy recipients, young actors Blanca Suarez and Jeremy Irvine.

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On Thursday night, Suarez — who was wearing a pair of Chopard chandelier earrings, dripping with 60 carats of yellow and white diamonds, and an 18-carat diamond ring -- told me she thought her earrings were worth $100,000. Probably more. She seemed as stunned about her jewelry (borrowed) as she was about receiving the Chopard honor, saying that she couldn’t believe she was joining a list of prior Chopard winners that included Marion Cotillard and Diane Kruger.

The 24-year-old Spanish actress is a Pedro Almodovar regular. She has a role in Almodovar’s upcoming I’m So Excited! and played in director’s The Skin I Live In, which competed in Cannes two years ago.

Chopard brought in Solange Knowles to sing for the blinged-out crowd at the Martinez hotel. Sporting a sparkling shorts suit and a flimsy shirt, Knowles joked in between songs that she should have worn a bra. Chopard was just one of many brands to sponsor events here Thursday night. Calvin Klein hosted a party with IFC. Louis Vuitton backed a bash for Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring, which opened Cannes’ Un Certain Regard section. And a Johnnie Walker-branded yacht was the venue for a cocktail to promote Martin Scorsese’s upcoming Silence, his passion project based on Japanese novelist Shusaku Endo’s novel.

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Scorsese held forth standing on a platform on the first level of the Walker barge. He later got a surprise visit from Leonardo DiCaprio, who waited by the gangplank in a woolen cap to give his director a hug. Scorsese ended up popping into another boat that was docked next to Walker yacht, joining producers Lawrence Bender and Randy Emmett and a gaggle of reps.

Among the eclectic crowd bouncing between the fetes were Harvey Weinstein, Bryan Ferry and British model Cara Delevingne, who hung with Irvine, Colin and Livia Firth and Laura Bailey at the Chopard party.

The Bling Ring event was on lockdown (I’m not even allowed to write it). Perhaps they were making sure that their brilliant marketing stunt today (for a movie about stealing valuables from celebrities) wouldn’t be revealed before its time. Chopard got a nice publicity boost from it too!