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As part of a spotlight series on sustainability and celebrity dressing timed to the opening of the Cannes Film Festival on May 16, THR highlights the best green-friendly looks ever seen on the Cannes red carpet and reports on the most innovative new eco-conscious fabrics.
THR also spoke with top stylists to talk about the most inspirational eco-friendly outfits they’ve worked on with top talent like model Winnie Harlow, The Bear‘s Ayo Edebiri and Tati Gabrielle. Below, they break down how the sustainability-minded looks came together.
CONSCIOUS ACCESSORIES: AYO EDEBIRI
Sustainably-minded stylist Laura Sophie Cox collaborated with Ayo Edebiri to infuse conscious elements into The Bear star’s award season. For the Golden Globes, Edebiri firmly established the black-tie two-piece and opera glove trends in a periwinkle hoop-skirt set by Rosie Assoulin, the leather and fur-free line, which produces locally in the Garment District. “It was so joyful, with the crop element, and just a really special look,” says Cox, who added sparkle with lab-grown diamond and recycled metal earrings from Brilliant Earth. “Then [Assoulin] adding those gloves gave it that extra pizzazz.”
ARCHIVE REVEAL: WINNIE HARLOW
After Zadrian Smith and Sarah Edmiston combed the Armani Privé archives to repurpose a vibrant yellow Spring 2005 couture gown for Harlow, the model and activist made multiple Oscars 2023 best dressed lists. “Archive pieces are just so exceptional, and it is a shame for them to live in a garment bag somewhere in a thermally controlled room,” says Edmiston, also acknowledging current interest in mid-aughts style. “They deserve a turn on the red carpet to really celebrate a great history of fashion.”
COMMUNITY IMPACT: NIKYATU JUSU
In January, Nanny director Nikyatu Jusu began her awards season winning the Fiction Vanguard Award at Sundance in a gold-pleated and embroidered corset gown by Christie Brown. She closed out accepting an Independent Spirit Award this past March in an origami-detailed skirt set from Rami RTW. Stylist Zerina Akers sourced the looks, both by Accra, Ghana-based designers, from Showroom Etc, which brings luxury African fashion to the Hollywood stage. Showroom Etc founder Elaine Mensah explains that sustainable practices are built into the heritage and business models of many of her clients’ brands, with low-waste production, natural fabrics and dyes, couture-level hand-craftsmanship and local sourcing and hiring. So representation on the red carpet also “trickles down in a very tangible way to communities,” says Mensah.
MATERIAL INNOVATION: TATI GABRIELLE
For the 2022 Oscars, Gabrielle, an RCGD (Red Carpet Green Dress) Global ambassador, wore a silky, draped Hellessy gown, custom-designed with Tencel biodegradable filament fiber and accented with archival fringe. Stylist Jean Chung added accessories uplifting BIPOC- and women-owned brands, including cork-based shoes from Malone Souliers, jewelry by Grace Lee and Crystal Streets and a one-of-a-kind bag by Tulie Yaito. “The level of creativity and collaboration we [were] able to actually do through that look was so much fun,” says Chung. (Makeup artist Elie Malouf even accented Gabrielle’s eyes with recycled gold leaf.) “We all learned a lot and we were so proud of what we did. I feel like she was one of the best looking ones out there on that carpet.”
LOCAL VINTAGE: PRIYA KANSARA
At the London premiere of Polite Society in April, star Priya Kansara absolutely beamed in a vintage 1930s cold-shoulder gown. The deco-detailed haute-couture dress came straight from her stylist Karen Clarkson‘s London-based archive, Found and Vision, thus minimizing their carbon footprint and promoting reuse, while making the newcomer’s milestone evening unforgettable. “To wear something that has history feels really special. I’ve always wanted to feel a moment like that,” says Kansara. “This was my first big premiere.”
A version of this story first appeared in the May 10 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.
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