Inside Jen Atkin's Cannes Film Festival Diary
With eleven Cannes Film Festivals under her belt, Jen Atkin is unofficially the Cannes queen. The red carpet rituals there might play out the same way every year–glam, pose, party, repeat—but where there is Jen, there is never an ordinary or dull moment. Because we just Cannes't keep up with Atkin's Antibes antics, we asked her to keep a journal during her weeklong work stay at Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc. Go inside the fun and fabulosity that unfolded on the French Riviera through our CEO's lens, ahead.
Day one in Cannes went like this. I gave Bella a half-up curly ponytail then a sleek-but-culy updo to complement her 80’s businesswoman blazer and skirt. Later I dropped her name to get into a party. It worked. There I ran into Alexander Wang who I’ve known for ten years and who hasn’t aged in ten years! Ugh, not far. Mid party, I remembered my other, other job so I rolled calls on the Magnum x Alexander Wang brown carpet while indulging in a fudge bar because YOLO. And even later, I carefully observed Simi and Haze spinning in the club because I think I found my next calling: DJ’ing. Shame there was no Vanity Fair party this year, I could have DJ’d.
Today, the French Riviera sun begged us to embrace it so I forced Kenny onto the iconic swing set at Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc over the ocean and went into Mario Testino mode, forcing her to stay there until I got the money shot. This went on for about thirty minutes. Then I went to get rosé, glowed myself up in OUAI Rose Hair & Body Oil, grabbed a shirtless stranger for a photo opp and forgot I left her up there. Oops. Moments later, I bumped into the Stark family and shot a gem of a photo. I’m now available for family portraits in exotic locations. Serious inquiries only. We basically lived our best lives today.
I glammed little baddie Bella again, this time giving her long sleek locks to go with her custom champagne Dior gown. Then I dropped Kendall’s name to get into another party. It worked. Then she invited us to dinner but didn’t realize I hadn’t been out in a hot minute. My work wife and I Mary Phillips belted out "I Will Survive" (really sorry for embarrassing you, Kenny). No regrets.
Woke up at 1:20pm Cannes time so things got off to a late start, but I quickly got my sh*t together, my forte. Started the day with Cavalli Kween Hailey, who got a tousled topknot from me. I never know what day it is when I’m in Cannes FYI but my assistant Irinel graciously reminds me. I spotted teeny tiny roses and was tempted to put them in someone’s hair. They weren't having it.
Next on deck was little miss Cannes cutie Kendall, again. Thank goodness for my other assistant, Amanda, for passing me the hair pins, as my arms were exhausted from all the photos I took of Kendall on the swing. I started reminiscing about 90’s updos because obviously they were major. Think Cher on prom night in Clueless or Carla Bruni from the catwalk. Off Kendall flew to the carpet looking like a divine dove in an ethereal updo. It was like glam squad Christmas. Meanwhile across town, Hailey was living her best life.
But no work day is complete without a bump in the road. Mary and I had to schlep 30 minutes to walk two blocks because in case you didn’t know, street closures in Cannes are a thing. Thankfully we found a car, and the sweat gave Mary a major glow. But then they shut down the roads and we had to walk again. Cannes you not?! Just when we thought the day Cannes’t get any better, a bang-adorned Bella proved us OUAI wrong. The best part was going back to my room to tell my husband all about…oh wait, he didn’t answer my FaceTime call.
Yep, still here. Day four of Cannes fell on Mother’s Day so I was missing my mom major and feeling a little homesick. Woke up to rain and all the girls were moving slow because being this epic is exhausting. And the daytime epicness must be celebrated at night too so it’s just this cycle. I don’t know what that supermodel epicness is like, but I do know I fancy a bowl of pasta at 1am in France. Good thing my friends were there to motivate me to go hard in the gym (here’s looking at you, Mary).
I could really get used to this South of France lifestyle, with its pretty people, flowers and hotel suites. And don’t get me started on the jewelry and dresses. As much as I feel like a spaghetti strap summer dress and cotton shawl could be my South of France vibe, my heart belongs back home in a red power suit. Just leave me here. No, seriously. I’ll figure out French. It can’t be that hard. Now I just need a boat. If anyone owns a boat, needs a haircut, and maybe someone to drink rosé with, call me—but your boat has to have good WiFi and the Bravo channel. Oh, and my friend Simon Huck has to come too.
I stoped by the Suite Christian Dior in between glamming the girls, and got some major OUAI HQ inspo. Next, a much-needed lil’ Yachty boat break from the chaos ensued. I caught my breath and caught up on my current read, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Superheroes by Deepak Chopra. I put together a few notes for those of you in a rut or trying to make life decisions and goals:
- Create and manifest your life
- Weigh pros and cons
- Listen to you instinct
- What to get rid of: habits, substances, bad emotions
- Keep clarity of your vision
Well, that concludes my Cannes tour. I hope you enjoyed it. This was my eleventh time here, and it's always my favorite week of the year. I can't wait until next time to collaborate with the squad. Until next Cannes, au revoir! See, I'm already proficient in French.