The Cannes Film Festival is the world’s biggest red carpet. For 75 years, the event’s lineup of premieres and parties has enriched the film industry while providing style devotees with a seemingly endless array of standout fashion.
Cannes’ dress code is famously strict and arguably passé, but it has ensured the festival’s position as the premier showcase for haute couture and decadent gemstones. Cannes is not casual. Unless you’re this year’s inimitably cool jury president, Spike Lee, you don’t get to walk the steps of the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès wearing sneakers.
In 2020 there were no premieres or parties due to the coronavirus pandemic and its travel bans, but this year the event comes roaring back. With a jury that includes chic international talent like French-Senegalese director Mati Diop, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Mélanie Laurent, and Tahar Rahim, the fashion was bound to be good, but guests were already exceeding expectations. From the moment Gyllenhaal walked into day one’s first photocell in a sleek Hedi Slimane-designed black trousers and tube-top combo from Celine, things were off and running.
On opening night at the world premiere of Leo Carax’s Annette, there were impressive outfits as far as the eye could see. Jessica Chastain delivered gothic vibes in a corseted Christian Dior Haute Couture gown paired with nearly 200 carats worth of Chopard rubies, while Lou Doillon twirled in Gucci’s gold lamé. Step up the staircase, and you’d find Bella Hadid posing in vintage Jean Paul Gaultier haute couture, nearly stealing the show from the movie stars. Not to be outdone, Annette’s star Marion Cotillard dazzled in a silver, tea-length Chanel Haute Couture look with so much sparkle it gleamed once the paparazzi began to snap Cotillard’s picture. All in all, it was a thrilling return to form and proof that the red-carpet magic lives on.