Elle Fanning's Stylist Breaks Down Her Best Cannes Looks

Elle Fanning and Samantha McMillen - Getty - H 2018
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for InStyle

Croisette couture newbie? Let Samantha McMillen, the superstar stylist behind Fanning's many looks last year, explain their striking collaborations.

It gives veteran stylist Samantha McMillen the chills when she hears that people are still talking about Elle Fanning’s Cannes style from 2017. It’s true, too. Everyone from Vogue and Vanity Fair to Elle and People documented every single outfit the actress wore during a triumphant fashion parade promoting How to Talk to Girls at Parties and The Beguiled.

For Fanning’s longtime stylist, the recognition is humbling considering how much plotting, planning and packing went into creating upward of 20 looks. “I don’t take any of it for granted, and I try to do my best work for every person and just stay mono-focused,” says McMillen, who admits her one Cannes indulgence is visiting the ice cream shop on the Croisette. “In this age of Instagram, everything is so instant and people move on so quickly. You wonder if people are taking things in or if it resonates. People may not remember what movie Elle attended or why she was there, but they will remember what she wore and how she carried herself. That’s the goal, really.”

It’s one that’s made easier because of the fluidity of their collaborations. “She loves fashion,” McMillen says of her 20-year-old client. “She always has for as long as I’ve known her. She even remembers which model has worn what down the runway, but the really fun thing about her is that she doesn’t want to look like anybody else. She wants to be original and honor who she is.”

A version of this story appears in The Hollywood Reporter's May 8 daily issue from the Cannes Film Festival. Click here to download.