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Octavia Spencer's Tadashi Shoji Cannes Gown: All the Exclusive Scoop

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Courtesy Tadashi Shoji; Ian Gavan/Getty

Octavia Spencer’s awards season tour in 2012 didn’t just nab her an Oscar and a Golden Globe — it also was the beginning of a beautiful friendship between the actress and the designer.

So it’s no surprise that Spencer has stuck with Shoji for all her major events, up to and including the Cannes photocall and premiere of her film Fruitvale Station.

The actress had several lovely choices for her big red carpet moment, but in the end she went with this elegant “carmine red” gown, featuring draped tulle over brocade with sequin accents — plus coordinating red sandals. “We almost always collaborate on her custom pieces,” Shoji tells PEOPLE of the process, which included three fittings to get it just right. “Octavia has a great sense of style and knows what looks good on her body so it’s easy!”

RELATED PHOTOS: See more beautiful star gowns at Cannes here!

He adds that they decided on the gown because “it’s appropriate for Cannes and something we haven’t done before. She [looks] stunning in a confection of lace and tulle. I am excited and honored to see my friend in my dress on the Cannes red carpet.”

And for her part, Spencer couldn’t be any more pleased with the finished result. “Tadashi is a magician — I feel completely transformed tonight,” she tells PEOPLE. “Each dress I wear of his feels like the first time all over again. This red number makes me feel sexy and confident.”

Tell us: What do you think of their finished product?

–Alex Apatoff