Luke Blackall: Those Cannes yachts miss no opportunity to be over-the-top

Man About Town

Pictures of me aboard yachts in Cannes have been the subject of humour and ridicule among my colleagues this week, and helped disabuse them of any notion that I was doing serious work out there.

I thought that I looked deep in important discussion as I enjoyed a cocktail aboard a floating party hosted by Belvedere vodka, but apparently they thought otherwise. After that strenuous lunch in the Mediterranean sun, we hopped aboard Roberto Cavalli's yacht. It is a well-known boat, and has appeared in several photoshoots, partly because it belongs to a world-famous fashion designer, partly because it's bright purple. Well, not just purple, green and blue too – it's a shining mass of iridescence in a uniform line of white boat hull.

Inside it's just as impressive. The inconvenience of having to take off your shoes as you got aboard was tempered by the fact that inside almost every room, you found yourself standing on the softest of rugs. From the snake-banister to the grand equine-themed window to the leopard print everything, no opportunity to be over-the-top had been missed.

We were brought lunch by a member of staff and ate Parma ham unlike anything I have encountered. It wasn't the only new thing for me, I'd also never eaten off a silk table cloth.

Why one of the world's most recognised fashion designer would want to have his boat parked in town is no great mystery. The red carpet is as much a fashion show as it is film promotion. But it's also his presence (and that of many others), that helps keep the spotlight on Cannes.

Take those who may not be associated with any particular film, but who look the part and have acting ambitions. This year it has been Kelly Brook who has attracted the most camera flash at both premieres and photoshoots, filling the papers back home. While in the 21st century celebrity-saturated media, no one on today's Croisette can live up to the glamour of Sophia Loren or Bridget Bardot, Brook and others help add to the belief that this small coastal town is, for two weeks a year, the most glamorous place to be.

Just as the starlets are a sideshow to the main, serious event of filmmaking and judging, the boats are an extravagant distraction. They may look a bit ridiculous, but they are a small part of what persuades the people to come, hoping to be amazed at the Cannes circus.

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