Actress, Fagun Thakrar continues to stylistically impress people at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.
Actress, writer, director, designer, stylist and activist are just a few titles that Thakrar has. She has been recognized as a fashion icon by Vogue Italia, and her style at the festival was nothing short of that.
Opening night is especially a big deal because it sets the mood for the rest of the week. She chose a red gown designed by Jovani along with emerald earrings and an embroidered clutch which she designed. This gown was the first gown she tried on and she immediately knew it was the gown for opening night.
“A lot of eyes are on the opening night. Leading up to the Cannes Film Festival, I had a vision that I wanted to wear red on the red carpet. In the end, I chose a beautiful flowy chiffon dress, very unlike anything that I have worn to premieres in the past,” Thakrar says. “Sometimes you just know when you try something on; it either works, or it doesn’t.”
This festival, in particular, has films and talent from all over the world, rather than just from England. The diversity flows into every aspect of the festival.
“I love the Cannes Film Festival because it is an international platform, which provides access to worldwide cinema,” Thakrar says. “It’s not just about picking out the big Hollywood films. I appreciate that Cannes Film Festivals selects critically-acclaimed works by first-time and emerging filmmakers, offering the opportunity for new talent to be discovered ”
The diversity of the festival doesn’t just lie with the origin of the people who attend or the origin of the films. The photographers and press come from all over the world to report on the festival, which makes the fashion showcased on the red carpet a huge part of the festival.
“The Cannes red carpet is one of the biggest and most prestigious events globally. As soon as you step out on the Grand Theatre Lumiere, you’re greeted by 360 degrees coverage from photographers from all over the world.” Thakrar says. “The fashion is therefore naturally very important, as worldwide have their eyes on what you’re wearing”
With such a large red carpet and a focus on fashion at the festival, it was important to Thakrar that she chose outfits that showcased her style, as well as feeling good in the dress and having confidence.
“Even if you feel good in a dress, you also need confidence. And when you have it, it shows. On the red carpet, they’re taking live pictures of you that go out straight away,” Thakrar says. “The bottom line is that it’s really just about the way you carry yourself in whatever you’re wearing. This year, I wanted to experiment with a different look, while at the same time keeping it classy and feeling confident.”
Thakrar’s love for fashion started when she was a child; her passion continued to grow as she got older. She would design outfits and take them to get created. People were asking her where she got her outfits which is why she started her fashion line, Fagun Collection. She designs purses that she sees a need for and that she would wear herself.
I’ve been designing things since I was a child, and continued it as a passion way into University. Even when I was at medical school, I would design clothing and accessories and get them made,” Thakrar says. “At the beginning, it was just a hobby, I would wear the clothes to various events and people would come up to me and say, ‘Oh, I really like this. Where did you get it from? Can you make me one?’ Which is how my fashion line then started to develop.”
She was able to be surrounded by fellow women who are making a difference in the film industry on day 2 and day 5 of the festival at events for empowering women. Her invitation to Variety’s Women in Film is because of her work promoting women and for creating films that have strong female leads.
“Female empowerment is very important to me. A lot of powerful women are changing the world at the moment. I love being with them, working with them, learning from them and trying to make a change,” Thakrar says. “I’m also currently working on my own production company, focusing on movies that are women-centric and empowering.”
Her activism and focus on empowering women goes beyond film and helps women in education. She has always thought of education with high regards.
“I started with studying medicine, I’ve always been very creative, and I ended up using my creativity to help me through my studies,” Thakrar says. “I further my education with a master in classical acting, then in filmmaking.”
She is using her talent for creativity, her background in education and her passion for learning to show creativity can be an asset in learning. Her foundation, The Fagun Foundation, was launched this year to promote this message.
“We’re not trying to make singers or performers out of those who participate; it’s not about that. Our foundation is about helping them by harnessing the skills which they already have to help them flourish in every aspect of their lives,” Thakrar says. “Through using their innate creativity, we can unblock barriers that can ultimately help people to develop in their education and careers.”
Her global foundation has mentors that help women learn how to use creativity. They also have worldwide programs and events that promote creativity and success for women. Eventually, they are looking to grow to have foundation schools around the world.
“We have mentors based around the world, so it’s a far-reaching global movement that isn’t limited to one country or culture,” Thakrar says. “When we put on programs, workshops and events, for example, we work with creative figures and influencers worldwide covering a variety of disciplines from writing and performing to painting and acting.”
She wanted to make it a global foundation because she says creativity may look different across the world. This way people in different countries can use creativity as an asset and in a way that makes sense to them.
“We believe it is important to recognize and be sensitive towards the diverse ways different cultures express themselves creatively,” Thakrar says. “There is a huge distinction between the creative arts in the different countries we are working.”