Sure, the Oscars and Golden Globes are important events on the fashion calendar, but they’ve got nothing on Cannes Film Festival. Every year many of the world’s most famous actors and models descend upon the chic French city, ostensibly to watch some groundbreaking movies – and walk the red carpet.
Cannes is different to English or American film festivals because it invites guests to really show off their fashion credentials. This is not a time to play it safe in a pretty black dress, instead, celebs dare to wear more bold and experimental outfits. As Cannes draws to a close, we take a look back at some of the best fashion looks you might have missed from the past two weeks.
Actor Laura Harrier bagged a huge role in Spike Lee’s BlacKKKlansman, which received a standing ovation when it premiered. She walked the red carpet in a minimalist Louis Vuitton gown, in gorgeous pale orange. Harrier regularly works with Nicolas Ghesquière of Vuitton, so expect to see a lot more of her in the future.
Cate Blanchett is president of the jury for this year’s festival, and has been pulling out all the fashion stops for the occasion. We particularly love this Givenchy tiered gown, which had an open back to offset the high neck and long sleeves.
Jane Fonda stunned in this Mary Katrantzou gown, the pattern of which resembles peacock feathers. This wasn’t the only fashion statement the 80-year-old actor made during the festival; she also stepped out wearing a Time’s Up jumper in support of the movement against sexual inequality in the film industry.
Helen Mirren is one of the most consistently well-dressed women in showbiz, and proved it once again in a midnight blue velvet Elie Saab gown. Bonus points for Mirren really knowing how to work those sleeves on the red carpet.
If you thought Mirren’s sleeves looked fun to wear, just take a look at Julianne Moore’s feathered cape. The bright red Givenchy dress matched the actor’s hair perfectly, and she kept her accessories plain but bold with diamond drop earrings.
Bringing the drama
Bollywood actor Sonam Kapoor understands better than anyone that Cannes is not a place to be low-key. She wore a Swarovski-encrusted Ralph & Russo two-part gown that paid homage to a lehenga. No biggie, but this epic gown took over 9,500 hours to complete.
Naomi Campbell walked the catwalk in Cannes for the Fashion For Relief show that she regularly organises. She was joined by famous faces Winnie Harlow and Bella Hadid, but undoubtedly stole the show in a corseted Dolce & Gabbana dress with a fuschia graffiti skirt.
Cannes is famous for the steps leading up to the theatre, and many celebs make use of this by adding a dramatic train to their outfit. Actor Aishwarya Rai Bachchan gave us a masterclass in this, with her butterfly-inspired dress by Michael Cinco, complete with a 20-foot train.
Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone definitely indulged in the “more is more” motto with this bright pink Ashi Studio gown. Subtle this definitely was not, with ruffles galore.
Model Winnie Harlow opted for a metallic dress that looked like it was made of liquid. It was a particularly cool look when Harlow started flinging around the long train and trailing it up the stairs. The dress is by Lebanese designer Jean Louis Sabaji, and was particularly fitting for the Solo: A Star Wars Story premiere Harlow was attending.
Lupita Nyong’o had one of the best princess moments at Cannes in this shimmering, pale pink Prada gown. With a skirt like that, can you really blame her for spinning it?
While Nyong’o wore a pretty traditional princess dress, Blanchett’s was just as romantic – but in a completely different way. She opted for a Mary Katrantzou dress that kept things light and fun with a bubble skirt, mullet hem, and vibrant colour scheme.
Amber Heard took to the red carpet in Valentino ballgown. The racy black bodice was offset by the columinous satin skirt, and we particularly like the way the straps cross at the back of the dress. Also, definite bonus points for those ruby earrings, which an updo showed off perfectly.
Chinese actor Fan Bingbing looked like a real-life Tiffany jewellery box in this Ali Karoui gown (a good thing, we promise). The silver bodice was paired with a ruffled aquamarine skirt, but perhaps the stars of the show were the De Beers diamonds she wore.
Another showing for model Harlow on this list, but this time with a completely different look. We love this dress because of its classic silhouette but in an incredible emerald hue. It is by Ralph & Russo, a house that might become even more famous after this weekend as they are one of the predicted designers of Meghan Markle’s wedding dress.
Cute daytime outfits
Cannes isn’t just about the red carpet; it also provides daytime photocalls where actors can show off their more casual style. Far from a classic gingham dress, Marion Cotillard actually wore a playsuit with a skirt attached – designed by one of Rihanna’s favourites, Adam Selman.
Bingbing, Cotillard, Jessica Chastain, Penelope Cruz and Nyong’o took to the Riviera to promote their upcoming spy movie 355. While we have some questions about Cotillard’s boots (surely she was sweltering?), all five ladies nailed the daytime chic look. We particularly like Cruz’s classic Ralph Lauren floral maxi and Bingbing’s dramatic feathery outfit by Osman.
Kristen Stewart, Lea Seydoux, Blanchett, Ava Duvernay and Khadja Nin are all members of the Cannes jury, so you can be sure they all brought their fashion A-game over the fortnight. Even though Duvernay’s green floral Prada dress is undoubtedly pretty, we love that the rest of the women went for suits in a rainbow of colours.
Stripes! Full skirts! Embellished collars! Kapoor nailed relaxed daytime drama in this Emilia Wickstead dress, which truly has it all.
In warm weather, sometimes all you want to do is wear loose clothing. Thandie Newton managed to make this look chic with her one-shouldered Valentino jumpsuit. If you look closely, you can see the floral pattern resembles that of Heard’s ballgown (evidently Valentino is really into flowers right now).