The stylist Elizabeth Saltzman spent August assessing 25 looks for her client Gemma Arterton to wear at TIFF’s premiere of “The Escape.” “TIFF is the cool kid,” Ms. Saltzman said. “It takes place in a northern city at the beginning of fall. It happens just as fashion month starts.”
“The look is about ‘I’m a serious actor,’ because TIFF commands a ton of respect from the film industry,” she said. “But you have to up the ante. You have to start to generate attention. It is the beginning of the buildup to Oscar season.”
Case in point: the blazer and shorts by Marcus Lupfer modeled by Ms. Arterton, who both stars in and produced the film. “I didn’t feel like wearing a frock,” the actress wrote in an email. “I wanted a playful take on a suit.”
Cut to last Saturday night, the premiere of Haifaa Al-Mansour’s film adaptation of “Mary Shelley” (as part of TIFF’s new move to support gender equality, about one-third of the films shown at the festival were directed by women.)
Just after 11, one of the film’s stars, the British actress Bel Powley appeared in a thigh-grazing white Alessandra Rich chiffon number and navigated her way through a sea of darkly dressed film industry heavyweights from the garden smoking area to the bar at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and InStyle’s annual TIFF bash.
Ms. Powley had just left her co-star, Elle Fanning, who was reclining on a wicker sofa in Alexander McQueen, while somewhere nearby was Greta Gerwig, the director and writer of “Lady Bird,” in a graphic midcalf golden yellow and black silk Sophie Theallet dress, sourced by her stylist Cristina Erlich.
“Cher Coulter helped me,” said the meticulously groomed Ms. Powley, referring to the Los Angeles-based stylist who selected her minidress. Ruffly, silken and adorned with a black bow, it was an alluring play on a tuxedo shirt and a demure foil to the black velvet Swarovski-embellished Saint Laurent mini flaunted by Margot Robbie, who was across the room promoting the Tonya Harding biopic “I, Tonya.”
Indeed, minis had something of a moment at TIFF, suggesting the old days of mermaid gowns may be…