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Good old-fashioned glamour was the order of the day. Feeling romantic, new mother Cate Blanchett opted for a salmon pink ruffled organza Armani Privé gown, while Faye Dunaway chose a powder pink embroidered silk Christian Dior ensemble, her hair swept high. Hollywood starlets Mischa Barton and Devon Aoki accompanied Alberta Ferretti up the event's fabled red steps, Barton in an indigo floor-length Ferretti gown and Aoki in a shapely sequined number in stormy gray, also by the designer. Adding a punch of color, jury member Natalie Portman zipped up the steps, white-rabbit-style, in a sassy deep purple ruffled Lanvin bustier dress, while women in black included Bollywood queen Aishwarya Rai, who wore a full-skirted Cavalli gown.
Speaking of Ferretti, the designer and Chopard's Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele — who codesigned the gem-laden dress that Bar Refaeli wore to the festival opening — are already plotting future collaborations. Aboard Ferretti's yacht for a private preview of the $700,000 gown, made from lilac silk chiffon and adorned with 2,904 carats worth of gems, the pair revealed plans to next design a timepiece together. "Like the dress, it would be about combining two different approaches, one a little more technical, one a little more fashion," said Ferretti, adding that the watch, likely to be a one-off, would be unveiled at the Venice Film Festival in 2009. Also along for the boat ride, Refaeli, who has just wrapped up shooting campaigns for True Religion, Accessorize and Chanel Make Up, disclosed she's looking forward to the release of her first movie, "Session," a psychological thriller in which she plays the lead. Marking her second time in Cannes, the Israeli star said she'd overpacked for the occasion, despite having access to the world's most glamorous gowns. "I've packed mainly whites and florals, as I've spent the last few months in New York, which was dark and cold, and florals are very big this season," she said.