“It’s amazing to celebrate movies and fashion, considering the few years we’ve had,” Stacey Martin tells me. “I usually try to be very French about it, but I’m very grateful to have witnessed everything.” Following the restrictions and social distancing of the last few years, the artiste has been busy making the most of her life. Recently, she was on the red carpet for the Cannes Film Festival and then headed to Italy for the Louis Vuitton Cruise 2024 show, sitting front row with Cate Blanchett, Gemma Chan, Oprah Winfrey, Emma Stone, Phoebe Dinever and Alicia Vikander. Of course, her wardrobe rose to the occasion.
“The film I presented [Bonnard, Pierre et Marthe] At Cannes it is about the painter, his work is full of colors. He is often known as the painter of happiness,” Martin told me by phone from France. “I wanted something that went with that spirit and the color palette of the story.” After seeing Louis Vuitton’s designs and the fabrics that make up her look, she felt it captured the personality of the film perfectly. “It’s amazing how everything fits together,” she says, excitement in her voice. “Usually I’m a mess with the organization, but this time I tried my best to represent the film to the best of my ability.”
“Fashion and art are so intertwined, I think a lot of people forget that,” Martin continues. Just like a visual portrait, hours of time and resources go into creating a red carpet moment. As she did with her Cannes outfits, Martin likes to “work closely with designers who want to break the mold and reinvent the rules of fashion and identity.” He revealed her favorite names to work with, Miuccia Prada and now Louis Vuitton. Nicolas Ghesquière.
“Half my job is dressing up and wearing clothes from another world,” she says. “People look to the red carpet to dream and see the fantasy, like art.” In her eyes, a red carpet outfit serves as a showcase for the work of a team, not just a designer. “It’s a very different short performance,” she explains. “There’s a whole team of people behind it and when you get to the red carpet, you really realize it’s all about this one moment. It’s all such a humbling experience, you and the team want to celebrate all the hard work you’ve put in. You want to make everyone proud.
Working months, for a short period of time when you are focused, seem like a lot of pressure. Does she feel the weight of striving for perfection? “When I started and the industry was new to me, it felt overwhelming. By now, I know them all very well,” she says. “My stylist, Rebecca Corbin Murray, made me feel less alone in the process. I no longer hear the nagging voice that we all have inside; instead, I remind myself that not everyone has this opportunity and to enjoy it.”
Finding a dress like this for big occasions seems like a daunting task, but Martin keeps things simple and trusts her instincts. “The more practical you can be in tailoring, the more honesty you can bring to the process and something will look better on you. A dress can look great on one person and be completely different on another, so I’m very picky about what doesn’t work for me,” she says.
The actress always brings something special to the red carpet because this inner feeling never fails her. As the Cannes Film Festival approaches for another year, Martin is saving the best for last; It is personally her most memorable fashion moment to date.
“The first time I tried on dresses for the event, I had a moment where I didn’t want to let go of this dress,” she said. For various events and first events. “However, I couldn’t let go of this special outfit.” She had already adapted her first look during a fitting in Paris, so she was delighted when she was asked to wear this dress back to Cannes. “Louis Vuitton said modestly that the clothes were meant for me. There is a simplicity to it that is very simple in a Ghesquière way. It feels so right.”
“Fashion defines identity and how we want to present ourselves to the world,” she says. “It’s a very instinctive way of communicating. We put a lot of importance on words and language, but ultimately the way we dress and fashion changes what we sometimes don’t feel brave enough to say or what we say is instinctive, visual and personal. Inability to fully understand or explain to other people. It will always be important.”