Models like Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner might have made the biggest splash on the Cannes red carpet last week, but Cannes is a film festival, not a runway. Among the actual actresses there promoting their films, budding fashion darling Laura Harrier was quick to catch our eye.
During her press tour for "Spiderman: Homecoming" last year, it became quite clear that she was a style star to watch. She quickly established herself as such, wearing labels like Rosie Assoulin, Prabal Gurung, Isabel Marant and Louis Vuitton, with whom she now works regularly, evidently in an ambassador-like capacity. (She also wore the brand to the recent Met Gala.)
Harrier was once again part of the fashion conversation at Cannes, most notably in the peach Louis Vuitton gown she wore to the premiere of her upcoming film, "BlacKKKlansman," in addition to equally stunning looks by brands like Derek Lam, The Row, Brock Collection, Maryam Nassir Zadeh and Bode.
Sure, Harrier is beautiful and looks great in clothes, but credit is owed to her stylist, Danielle Nachmani, who brings to the table a taste level and passion for emerging brands that is unique. In Hollywood, there are a few instances of celebrity-stylist duos that are matches made in heaven, and Nachmani and Harrier are undoubtedly one of them.
"She's a dream client," says Nachmani, who initially met Harrier while styling lookbook shoots for Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's brands, in which Harrier modeled a few years ago. Asked what that means, she replied, "I think we have a really similar style; we have a running joke that when she shows up at fittings or when we meet up we're usually dressed somewhat the same."
They were both excited when they learned "BlacKKKlansman," a Spike Lee project also starring Adam Driver, would be going to Cannes — Harrier perhaps more so because of what it meant for her career, though Nachmani anticipated the red carpet opportunities. "I think that being on the French Riviera just adds a sense of glamour, it allows you to kind of dream little bit bigger," says Nachmani of what sets Cannes apart from other events. "I think for some things, you're like, oh, is this too much? For Cannes, it's like, do a little too much. This is the moment."
The two of them began about a month out, working closely with Louis Vuitton's Nicolas Ghesquiere on that peach moment. "We knew after seeing the last [Louis Vuitton runway] show that we wanted to focus on a lot of the pleating that he featured ... we actually saw a color, a peach color, in one of the shirts and we were like, 'Is there any way to do a dress in that?' And he really made our dream dress come to life," she recalls. Nachmani also took into consideration the fact that Harrier was the only woman doing press for the film, and how the peach would stand out in a timeless, elegant way in cast photos surrounded by men in suits.
Nachmani says Harrier's relationship with the French fashion house is great for access, but that she also makes an effort to have Harrier "highlight designers that are going to be a bit newer or [are] American," like Zadeh, Lam and The Row's Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen; she wore a blue gown by the latter for the Cannes AmfAR gala. "I really wanted to have three New York designers in addition to the fact that we had those two Vuitton moments," says Nachmani. She also planned some off-duty looks for Harrier, like a Brock Collection dress for a daytime stroll and a Bode look for the airport. "Bode is a brand that both myself and Laura are huge fans of and she's a new brand; her looks aren't necessarily very dressy so we thought the airport would be a perfect time," she says. "In Cannes, you're constantly being photographed, so we really wanted to make sure we found opportunities to make sure on her off-duty time, she still looks impeccable."
From day one, Nachmani says brands have been interested in working with Harrier. "I think, fortunately, I already had relationships with a lot of the brands that we worked with initially and they trusted [me]," she explains. "From the get go, we didn't really have any no's; people were really excited, I think that they saw the potential."
Aside from wanting to highlight emerging and American designers, Harrier's character in "BlacKKKlansman," Patrice, inspired Nachmani's direction. Harrier plays the leader of the Colorado State Black Student Union in the 1970s-set film, which depicts an undercover black detective who infiltrates the Ku Klux Klan. "I'm going to have to somehow honor Patrice in every look that we do; I think when a character's as strong as this one, you can't not," she says, noting that we'll continue to see a Patrice vibe throughout Harrier's press tour for the film. "There's a lot of leather that Patrice wears; I think that's something we'll definitely be tapping into for the press tour — a lot of bolder, stronger silhouettes [rather] than romantic."
In the meantime, Harrier's next big event will be the CFDA Awards, which we're told she'll be attending with a nominee that she's worn previously. Could the ceremony in June bring a full-circle moment with Harrier wearing another Olsen brand? We'll have to wait and see.