Cannes Watch: Tilda Swinton in Haider Ackermann

Posted on May 17, 2012

Hmmm. We hate to say this about an instance of Tilda really bringing it, but … well, look for yourself:

Tilda Swinton attends opening ceremony and ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ premiere during the 65th Annual Cannes Film Festival in a dress designed by favorite designer Haider Ackermann.

Haider Ackermann Fall 2012 Collection/Model: Olga Sherer (NATHALIE)

Our first impulse, as it so often is with Ms. Tilda, was to gasp. Which we did. We love the unusual shape of this dress and we think Tilda’s just the lady to rock the shit out of it, as she does so often with Haider Ackermann designs. But we really don’t like the color of it, especially against her overwhelming paleness. And parts of the bodice look extremely poorly worked. What looks dazzlingly symmetrical and origami-like in the runway version looks overworked and sloppy on the red carpet version. And if there are two words we would have NEVER thought to use before now to describe Tilda Swinton, they’re “overworked,” and “sloppy.” It’s a gorgeous gown and it’s perfect for her, but something went a little awry in the fitting process.


[Photo Credit: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images,]

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  • bluefish

    Also, too damn long!

    • Yup. Adding the length and changing the color took an interesting dress and made it boring. Boo. It also looks like they altered the bottom of the origami bit to make it more read carpet friendly and in doing so lost the best part. Again, boo.

    • The original color and length would have been perfect. 

    • yes, I think it would have WERQ’d shorter and in the original bronze color, would have been great against her skin!

  • RebeccaKW

    The runway color would be amazing on her.  I understand why she went longer, but I love the shorter length of the runway version as well.  Also, the bodice of the runway version.  Hm.  It sounds like I don’t like this, but I do, I just PREFER the runway version.

    • I agree! The length is so weird, it’s almost pushing the dress up and messing with the silhouette. But when I saw her shoes peaking out the back I gasped, they are at least 5” and the length is still odd!

    • That copper colour really would be so much better on her. Maybe they felt it was too autumnal for May in Cannes? Totally agree about the bodice.

    • The bodice is wonky because they sewed it up much higher than the runway version.  While I COMPLETELY get not wanting to have your dress’s neckline open down to your waist, that and the changes to the folds on the hips ruined the shape and folding of the dress.  And I do NOT get why she didn’t go with the original color.

      • RebeccaKW

         And if anyone could wear that plunging neckline and look fabulous and not slightly slutty, it would be Tilda.

    • Warmheartedgirl Seattle

      Agreed, 100%.

  • The runway version is much more stunning. The fabric on Tilda’s dress looks tortured within an inch of it’s life.

    • Super_Red

      exactly. Which is sad, because it SHOULD be knock-your-socks off amazing on her. 

    • The material looks inferior. Maybe she got a piece of the bad batch.

  • schadenfreudelicious

     the fit is indeed off, but the color is the real offender here, it’s all wrong for her..the shade shown on the runway would have been a much better choice

  • maggiemaggie

    What is Marc Jacobs doing in the photographer’s pool?

  • Imagine her in the same gown in that intense copper color of the runway version.  THAT would have been a full stop WERQ.

  • MilaXX

    I still like it. It’s not WERQ level, but it looks good on her. 

  • Lina_bee

    Oh, Ackerman, no. The folds and pleats on the runway version are absolutely essential to make this dress work. Taking them out on this dress was a terrible choice. I’m also not convinced that floor-length was a good choice. This stiff silk shantung-looking fabric does not drape at all — it can’t if it’s meant to hold that shape — and that generally makes long skirts look ridiculous.  Here, it’s sort of making her look like she’s standing in a huge silk-covered vase. Also, dear Swinton, as much as I love you, blush rose is NOT your color.

  • Carla_Charlton

    But overall (and not too close), this is gorgeous!

  • AlinaValero

    i agree, the fabric and fit are unfortunately wrong. gorgeous idea, poor execution. oh tilda!

  • lilibetp

    It also looks like they didn’t press a couple of the seams in the bodice as they were sewing…

  • AWS

    The original looks like a satin robe to me.  Whereas Tilda’s version looks like a DRESS. 

    Not loving the fit but there’s something ethereal about the color against her pale skin.  Me likey…

  • Call me Bee

    I agree, though I like that she modified those hip pockets from the original.  On the runway, they are dramatic–on a real person they would be really unflattering.  And yes, it would have been fierce in the original (or any other) color.  But–The Swinton still stops the show…no matter what. 

  • mjude

    is the fabric the problem?  but i still must bow down.

  • shirab

    Are those silly-putty pumps I see? (And are they a little too big?) Although in her case, silly-putty does not remotely equal skin-tone, so maybe they’re ok…

  • aimee_parrott

    Too long and she’s monochromatic.  I also suspect that this is a dress that works when you (a) have a bevy of dressers helping you (b) with steamers in hand and (c) only have to walk down the runway and back up again. 

  • SewingSiren

    I like the pale on pale. But I see what you mean about the bodice. The sleeve has almost no lift. Maybe she tried to raise her arm for some reason and stressed the little anchor stitches holding the pleats in place.

  • I dunno, I like it. I feel like if it was in the runway colour or even a totally different colour altogether, it would be almost perfect.

     On another note that wall of photogs looks friggin’ scary. They’re like a bunch of tuxedo’d aliens with giant lenses as heads.

  • Rebecca Johnson

    The version on Tilda has a very Project Runway vibe going on, in the worst way.

  • It looks like it has runs or pulls-but she looks fantastic.

  • Stubenville

    It’s beautiful on her, but I don’t think “Filenes’ pink*” is the best color for her.

    (*It was the signature color of the long gone Filenes Department Stores in Boston.)

  • I thought the same thing….its definitely the wrong color, that bronze from the runway would have looked really good on her.  

  • judith traherne

    You know, that stiff skirt with the vent in the back is *hell* to walk in. She’d be kicking with every step.

    Some problems with the fit in the bodice and the shoulder slipping off but I do like it suits her very well.

  • Lani George

    It looks as though Tilda’s version is in a silk dupionni, which is crisper than what looks like silk satin in the runway version, and wouldn’t hang the same as on the runway model.  I still think she looks fantastic, though.

  • I like the runway design much better.

  • janetjb

    The original is much more interesting in structure and color. 

  • Anathema_Device

    Agree on the construction issues, but what a great silhouette for her. Like other BKs, I prefer the runway version (color and the construction).

  • PeaceBang

    Indeed. The runway version was gasp-worthy and I LOVED the color. Also: really bad old lady make-up (overly peachy skin and ugly lipstick).

  • jw_ny

    It looks like the top is pinned or point stitched to keep the drape/sleeve up….like the folds on the runway version were not built into the top and Tilda had to modify to keep it up.  The folds at the skirt are off too.  It all looks terribly sloppy….the beauty of the original is completely lost.

  • BayTampaBay

    She looks better in this than 99% of the and/or whatevers on the Red Carpet.

    She doesn’t look that bad.  As a matter of fact I think she looks great, not out-of-the-ballpark great but just plain great.

    • Exactly. Anyone else pulled this look off and it would be amazing they even tried. Because it is Queen Tilda, there is room to nit-pick. But it’s a gorgeous, interesting dress and she looks great.

  • VeryClaire

    Too shiny, too long!

    • VeryClaire

      The length throws the proportions off and takes it from cool to matronly. 

  • She looks like she ran into a piece of satin in a storm and the wind is keeping it up. 

  • eclare

    Really want to like it but somehow skews a little “Mother of the Bride.” 

  • The fabric in the runway version looks softer than the fabric used in Tilda’s dress

  • Kate4queen

    Not loving that color at all on her.

  • Lilithcat

    The original looks more like Tilda than Tilda’s.

  • Julia James

    Something about this dress is just so mother-of-the-bride. A combination of the color, the fabric, and the length?

    • Lola67

      My thoughts exactly, can’t get past it.

  • MK03

    Oh dear. She looks…old in these shots. I think it’s the hairdo, which is doing absolutely nothing for her, plus the general monochromatic blergness of the dress.

    • Pennymac

      I’m going to find a way to use “blergness” into my vocabulary today. I definitely like the darker, (less blerg) runway dress color!

      • MK03

        I must give credit where it’s due. Liz Lemon is the genius responsible for “blerg.” Alas, I have only co-opted the word because it’s so terrific.

  • beebee10

    Tilda, nooo!! my world is rocked. 

  • TheOriginalLulu

    I love it.

  • ChristySchiff

    Another color and this would have killed.  As it is, it’s only wounding.

    But – that’s very, very close to a silly putty pump peeking out there .  Too close for my comfort.

  • The fabric looks like my cat got her claws in it and snagged the satin. I don’t like. 

  • marilyn

    If she had been wearing the dress in the shape as on the runway, but in the length and color of the RC, she would have been great.  I think that she chooses clothes in colors that compliment her skintone.  She has delicate coloring, and it does not always do well in photgraphing from a distance.  She manages to avoid the pitfall of looking vampirish/hungover/deathly ill, however you want to say it, which is easy with very pale coloring.  I am wondering how she would look with a very pale red color (pale strawberry blonde) hair color.  She knows how to avoid the bad looks with pale skin, and this might give her a more glowing look.  Howver, I don’t know if she is going for ‘glowing’.  Hmmmmm………..

  • PastryGoddess

    I think closing it in didn’t help the fit on top.  I actually like the longer length.  That color is bad especially for her.  She is snow white, any other color would have worked her but this one

  • Le_Sigh

    She looks like a blush-metallic statuette no?  I thought there would also be a cry out as she’s wearing the dreaded silly putty pumps.

    I don’t mind the length, but the fit and color just ain’t right.  Methinks if she’d gone the route of the runway color, we’d be bowing as well as gasping in delight.

  • YourBaloneyDontGotNoSecondName

    i know what the issue is.  it’s not bizzarre, crazy, awesome enough.  so it’s slowly disintegrating.  that is what happens to fabrics when a mortal dresses her in something that is not fabulous enough to touch SWINTON’s skin.

  • Rand Ortega

    It’s the color.
    If it were in a blue or green I would’ve cried.

  • I have to say, I never got the fascination with her. 

  • EEKstl

    Right on both points, boys.  Just pale pale pale and it’s not working nearly as well as if this had been in some jewel-toned color.  Not sure the rust of the pic would be right, but probably would have been better on her than this.  She’s still my Tilda tho.

  • BeeBeauNYC

    Tlo, spot on as usual!

  • unbornfawn

    I wish she’d worn the runway version. She would have rocked the shit out of that color and length.

  • GorgeousThings

    It looks like it was sewn by an ambitious but inexperienced stitcher. And you can see the seam allowances on the bodice, because it’s been “pressed to death”. All I can figure is that this version was a rush job.

  • Tracy_Flick

    It looks like the fabric used on Tilda’s dress is slightly heavier and doesn’t drape as well. She still looks great though. She and Jane Fonda are looking better than 95% of the starlets. 

  • It’s probably just as well, if she’d gone with the original color (to say nothing of the gloves and shoes) I probably would have passed the fuck out.

  • I don’t like the shoes either.

  • bloggertobenamedlater

    Agree here too. I am afraid we are in for a slew of champagne and dusty rose colors for a while which flatter .5% of the population. 

  • mom2ab

    Looks like a chic mother of the bride dress.

  • They should have kept the original color and just made it a tiny bit longer… 

  • joe_tey83

    Why are there streaks on the dress? It’s like there’s a problem in transmission.

  • I think it’s a little too big for her across the top, causing the pleats to fall off her shoulders (like bra straps)… maybe? The runway version has the folds of the pleats on top of the shoulder. 

    Agree about the color, washes her out.

  • Susan Crawford

    From my prone position, groveling at St. Tilda of Swinton’s elegant feet, I whisper gently that T and Lo are right and the bodice and hemline need some tweaking, and also that a slightly richer copper-color would enhance my Queen’s porcelain complexion. I will now crawl backwards from her presence and chain myself up in the dungeon in penance.

  • allisankelly

    I gasped too-UGH at the rose/nude!!! I love the idea of this dress and the one on the model is less “tucked and pinned”-looking than what Tilda is wearing. The bottom half of the dress is less fussed with than the top. Love the ring, hate what I can see of those shoes.

  • Nappysue

    I wonder if Ackerman was purposely matching the gown color to Tilda’s hair?  The runway model in the copper dress has copper hair.

  • Joey Melliza

    fabric’s different.  neckline is too high on the RC look – i think she should’ve stuck to how it was on the runway — and i think its  little too long. instead of letting gravity pull it down to have it styled properly the stiffish fabric resting comfy-ly on the RC propped it up to disastrous effect

  • suzq

    The sleeves are dragging the shoulder folds open.  I bet the runway version was stitched down.

  • golspie

    The darker bronze of the model’s version might have suited her better.

  • formerlyAnon

    I mourn the runway copper, which is a glorious color. 

  • There are not enough ‘YES’ exclamations in the world.

  • runningmollusk

    I don’t care if it is Tilda. Horrendous. The runway version would have looked much better on her, I think. 

    And I would really like to know if Tilda has actual feet.

  • Zippypie

    Do not like.  The runway version would have been stellar on the Swinton, but this looks so mother-of-the-bride because of the color. Blech.

  • texashistorian

    I disagree… she looks amazing. I think the color suits her… the darker color would have overwhelmed her.

  • granddelusion

    She must hate her feet….

  • Sophie Collier

    I think it’s just not a cut that works for anything other than standing and walking.  Chances are it got wonky from Tilda actually moving inside it.   Damn, I bet when she first put it on, it was stunning.  

  • Judy_J

    This would have been a knockout in a jewel tone. The fit in the bodice is definitely off. Close, but no cigar.

  • guest2visits

    OMG; what a huge difference it makes when the papparazzi is DRESSED.  They make an elegant back-drop in their black and white.
    I am dazzled by how great it looks, – what an idea. It looks like a movie set.   Yes, I know. I am pathetically easy.
    Anyway; I think Tilda looks perfect. The dress is beautiful; I only wish the back had a little more interest to match the front.

  • Twinzilla

    So fab in the front and then so plain in the back.  Tilda deserves 360 degrees of fabulous.

  • frances rossi

    I love the longer version! So much more gorgeous and elegant. Darker color – yeah, I guess you’re right! It’s better. She can wear a dress, can’t she?!?

  • MissMariRose

    I hope you guys do a post on Bill Murray’s outfit at Cannes. It’s hilarious. 

  • Renaissance_Man_ATL

    But is it sloppy?  Is all that beige-y/pale copper-y column supposed to look sloppy or is it a commentary on all the beige-y-ness we see lately?  I usually hate pale-icky-ness like this but she is STUNNING!!!

  • If she had kept the original color from the runway, I think it would have been an OMG TILDA.  🙂

  • Aurumgirl

    The colour of the runway version is exquisite, and it would have been so good on Tilda.  About the only thing that’s really “off” about her gown other than the colour is the detail at the shoulders–it seems sewn on in the Tilda version, and merely folded and draped on the runway.  It changes the way the fabric flows to draw the eye in.  But otherwise, I still think it’s stunning on her and the colour doesn’t completely wash her out–it’s just disappointing, considering what it could have been.  

  • The darker, shorter, runway version is fiercer and she should have gone that direction instead.

  • ballerinawithagun

    I love Haider Ackermann, so this is really disappointing. The copper color is so fabulous. The bodice reminds me of my friend’s horrible 7th grade sewing project. It almost looks like there are pins still in the shoulder armscye area. Way too long for the stiff fabric. That fabric requires perfection.

  • saanrio

    If they had taken more time on the seams and taken an inch or two off the skirt, this would have been drop-dead stunning.  As it is, it is okay… but not great.  Shame, that.

    • i much prefer tilda’s length to that of the runway model.  and those shoes, ugh-ugh-ugly.

  • Should have kept the runway color.

  • Should have kept the runway color.

  • Lilak

    If Ackermann had merely lengthened the original somewhat, we’d have a winner.
    The line, construction, fit, and design proportions were perfect (and dramatic!) in the runway version.  And of course the fabric’s color and weight.

    Every single adjustment and swap they made for La Swinton’s RC appearance was a diminishment (< word?) of the original.
    Why oh why?? 

    • NurseEllen

       You’re looking for “diminution”.  And I agree.

  • sweet_potato

    I gasped too!

  • RzYoung

    I love the dress, I agree she should have gone with the brassy-er coloured one, I think she pulls it off.

  • TomBord