There’s no doubt that between the luxury Swiss watch and jewelry maison Chopard and the Cannes Film Festival, stands a big love affair. It all began in 1997, when Chopard’s Co-President and Artistic Director Caroline Scheufele met Pierre Viot, then President of the Cannes International Film Festival. “I asked him which jeweler was partnering with the Cannes Festival and he replied that there was none. As my job is to create jewelry, I suggested that Chopard should become the partner jeweler for the event and also that I should redesign the Palme d’Or with a more contemporary look,” says Scheufele. Proposal accepted, the partnership debuted in 1998. A partnership that continues to shine under the French Riviera, bringing glamour and sparkle to one of the most renowned international film festivals.
The Palme d’Or
The 76th edition of the world’s greatest cinema event kicked off on May 16. A myriad of film actors, directors and professionals were all dressed up for the world’s most widely publicised event after the Olympic Games. Cornerstone of the partnership between Chopard and the Cannes Festival, is the Palme d’Or. “For 26 years, we have been crafting it with the same enthusiasm and passion in our Geneva Haute Joaillerie workshops. This is an enormous responsibility, because not only are we the only jeweler entitled to create this trophy, but its emotional charge and symbolism remain truly unique,” says Scheufele. The palm trees along La Croisette, and the historical significance of Saint Honorat taking refuge under a palm tree during a storm on the Lérins Islands, inspired Scheufele in the redesign of the trophy. She transformed it into a precious jewel using 18-carat yellow gold and rock crystal. The Palme has been long used to honor the anniversaries of Cannes Film Festival. Set with diamonds only for special editions—namely the festival’s 70th and 75th anniversaries and the 25th anniversary of Chopard’s partnership in 2022—the Palme d’Or, which was not modified since 1998, was added to the maison’s Journey to Sustainable Luxury in 2014.
The new edition has been made for the very first time using Fairmined-certified ethical gold, making it the world’s first and only ethical film trophy. 70 hours of work are required to produce the trophy from A to Z, and the same jeweler crafts the piece from start to finish with the help of six artisans who are involved in the various stages of production, to ensure the result is perfectly homogeneous. Like the Palme d’Or, the eight other awards presented at the closing ceremony – the Best Actress Award, the Best Actor Award, the Grand Prix, the Best Director Award, the Screenplay Award, the Jury Prize, the Short Film Palme d’Or and the Caméra d’Or – are also crafted in Chopard’s Haute Joaillerie workshops.
Natalie Portman, godmother of the Trophée Chopard
A big moment of this annual rendezvous and part of the official Cannes Festival calendar was the Trophée Chopard. Inaugurated in 2001 at the initiative of the maison’s Co-President and Artistic Director and inspired by her deep love for cinema, the Trophée Chopard awards an actress or actor at the start of their career. On the occasion, a prestigious dinner organised at the joint invitation of Iris Knobloch (President of the Festival), Thierry Frémaux (General Delegate of the Festival) and Caroline Scheufele (Chopard Co-President and Artistic Director) was held on May 19. This year’s award’s Godmother was Natalie Portman. “Natalie Portman is a cinema legend whom I have always admired, not only for her immense talent as an actress, but also for her commitment as a woman of strong convictions,” Scheufele says about the Oscar-winning Black Swan star. “I know that she pours her entire heart into her projects, and it is with strong emotional engagement and a caring attitude that she will present their awards to the winners of the 2023 Trophée Chopard.”
The winners were decided by the votes of the Académie du Trophée Chopard, composed of winners as well as godfathers and godmothers of previous editions. EE BAFTA Rising Star nominee, BAFTA Television Award winner and British Independent Film award winner Naomi Ackie and Irish actor Daryl McCormack and two BAFTA nominations, for EE BAFTA Rising Star and Best Lead Actor, an IFTA for Lead Actor Daryl McCormack were the lucky winners of this year’s edition.
Red Carpet Collection, Art of Haute Joaillerie
For 2023’s edition, Caroline Scheufele put Chopard’s Red Carpet Collection under the theme of ‘Art’. Architecture, sculpture, painting, music, literature, dance, and cinema all came together to create this Haute Joaillerie collection, which was adorned by many of the actresses and actors present to promote their films. The lucky number of this year’s Red Carpet Collection was 76. So, 76 masterpieces matching the latest edition of the Festival and showcasing the talent and craftsmanship of the maison ‘s artisans were celebrated. A standout piece? A ring with a central yellow sapphire supported by antique-style sculptures intricately carved in gold and adorned with brilliant-cut diamonds. Another chef-d’oeuvre was a dog-collar necklace that payed homage to poetry, featuring diamond feathers delicately crafted into ethereal volutes.
All night long… and glitter
One of the most memorable highlights from Cannes Film Festival 2023 was undeniably the traditional grande soirée Chopard hosted. Star-studded guests joined the ‘Art’ inspired party. The dress code for the evening was black tie, and of course, Chopard diamonds. Among the A-listers present were K-pop group and Chopard Ambassador aespa, along with Edward Enninful, Charles Melton, Poppy Delevingne, Kate Beckinsale, Ashley Graham, Song Kang-Ho, Jeon Yeo-Been, Nadine Njeim, William Abadie, Alejandro Nones, Lena Mahfouf and Marina Buy Barbosa. And there was no missing the adorable guest of honor who caught everyone’s eye: Caroline’s much-loved pup, Byron.
From the opulent entrance to the chic tablescapes, this year’s theme Art took center stage. The evening also marked a new chapter in Chopard’s history with the introduction of Caroline’s Couture. For the first time on the catwalk and in an unprecedented conversation between jewelry and clothing, fashion and haute joaillerie born of Caroline Scheufele’s creative vision were brought into the spotlight by her friends. The 76-piece Red Carpet collection and 50 Caroline’s Couture silhouettes, were highlighted on the catwalk in a glittering display by models Naomi Campbell, Helena Christensen, Eva Herzigova and Natalia Vodianova, as well as Caroline Scheufele’s friends Cindy Bruna, Martha Hunt, Loujain, Catrinel Marlon, Petra Nemcova, Shanina Shaik, Emma Weymouth Marchioness of Bath, and Lina Zhang.
Robbie Williams surprised attendees with a special performance of his greatest hits such as Swing Supreme, Better man, She’s the one, Feeland Angels. To cap the incredible evening, the show on La Croisette continued through the night with sets by Lebanese DJ Rodge.
Some of the guests at the celebration