The outbreak of World War II forced the cancellation of the inaugural Cannes Film Festival, meant to take place in 1939 on the French Riviera as an alternative to the Venice Film Festival.
In September of 1946, seven years after ideation, the Cannes Film Festival finally rolled out its red carpet with 18 countries attending, including the United States and their premiere Cannes Film Festival candidate, The Wizard of Oz. Today, 89 countries attend the annual May festival, and while the films are a main attraction of the event, so are the fashions. This year’s event— taking place through May 28—will include not just movies but dinners and parties with A-list attendees like Anne Hathaway and Julianne Moore. Like the Oscars and the Met Gala, those in attendance put their best fashion foot forward, donning custom designs and haute couture.
Stylist Alexandra Imgruth, dressing French actress Léa Seydoux for this year’s film festival (you might recognize her from the 2011 movie Midnight in Paris), weighs in on what it takes to get red carpet ready. “Léa and I began discussing ideas for Cannes during the BAFTA’s back in March—even though film nominations don’t get announced until April. It’s good to have ample time,” she explains. “We knew we wanted to do something different from our most recent looks—a bit more European,” she says. The event’s dress code is strictly black tie, even for paparazzi in attendance. Still, Imgruth feels, given the International attendance of the festival, that people take more creative liberties with their looks.
Imgruth’s favorite past Cannes Film Festival ensembles include Sophia Loren’s old Hollywood glamour looks from the 1950s. Her recent best-dressed nominees include Julianne Moore in Chanel and Diane Kruger in Vivianne Westward. Ahead we’ve included some of the best Cannes Film Festival looks from 2022, with plenty more glamorous moments on the way.