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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Black tie

127th Spec editorial page editor Ben Kenigsberg convinced Time Out Chicago to send him to Cannes, and he's writing a blog about it. In my favorite entry thus far, Ben tries to dress for success:
By their very nature, film critics tend to be casual dressers. (If I may presume to speak for the profession, journalism in general breeds a certain degree of sartorial laziness, and this is especially so of a kind of journalism that frequently involves sitting in the dark, and refusing to socialize with one’s colleagues.) At the opening of this year’s Chicago International Film Festival, I wore a tie and jacket and felt damn classy. Parties at Toronto generally call for only standard film festival garb—i.e., whatever’s at the top of one’s suitcase. The New York Film Festival’s opening-night party is at least nominally black tie, but the times I’ve gone, even the hosts ignored that rule, and the half-dozen attendees who wore tuxes wound up looking like assholes.

All of this is a long way of explaining why I’m less than super-prepared for the dress code police at Cannes, where the evening premiere screenings require black tie. This rule is strictly observed, sort of, and I’ve gotten wildly divergent advice on how to handle it, from "Don’t worry, critics mostly stick to press screenings because tickets for official premieres are hard to come by" to "No one brings a tux and you’re nuts for even asking" to "A tux is well worth bringing and a good investment besides" and, of course, the immortal "Bring a dark suit, tie a scarf around your stomach and pretend it’s a cummerbund." I’m kind of partial to the last one.

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Blogger Katy on Tue May 20, 10:40:00 AM:
Alice, do you remember the time Ben came to the office in a jacket and tie and announced that he was wearing a suit? An argument ensued over whether a jacket and non-matching pants counted as a suit. I said no and still say no.