Why Cannes Is The Most Fashionable Red Carpet In The World

With more yachts than you can shake Roberto Cavalli at and more couture than a Russian oligarch can dream of, Cannes Film Festival is the event where celebs take risks and the stars' outfits earn their own column inches. We’ve been strolling down the memory Riviera and reminiscing about the masterpieces that have stolen the show over the years.

1. Sharon Stone looks best in, well, not very much at all. True to form, the glamazon made fashion history in 1995 when she cheekily flashed her hand-beaded Valentino hot pants from underneath her Valentino gown for the paparazzi.

2. How does the woman do it? Charlize Theron joined the Dior family in 2004 when she signed a deal with John Galliano, then head designer at Dior, and featured in the now cult advertising campaigns of the mid-noughties. There’s absolutely no getting away from the fact that her sea-foam, satin, Dior dress, is falling off her shoulder. It wouldn’t have worked on anyone else, but she looked exceptional.

3. We had to get the French fash pack in, after all, they do avant-garde better than anyone. Here is Audrey Tautou, in 2006, casually working ruffles. Her sculptured, white Balmain gown is so Cannes: quirky, directional and utterly cool. Her pixie crop and gold shoes set this dream dress off perfectly.

4. It doesn’t get more fabulously French than Marion Cotillard drapped in Christian Dior, hair in a French bun, at the Cannes Film Festival in 2013? The strapless white gown, with pleated yellow, black and blue flashes through the asymmetric skirt, was from Dior’s resort collection that was shown just two days earlier.


5. Angelina Jolie rarely eschews a traditional LBD. However, in 2007 at the Ocean’s Thirteen premiere, Jolie went bold. The actress looked positively sunny in her twisted, Grecian-style, daffodil-yellow Emanuel Ungaro gown.

6. Tilda Swinton does epic androgynous chic. Fact. In 2013, at the premiere of Only Lovers Left Alive, Tilda surprised nobody by wearing something totally off the wall. The British actress opted for a custom Haider Ackermann gold ensemble which included a shimmering long-sleeved top and extra long trousers teamed with a simple swipe of red lipstick.

7. Diane Kruger served as a festival juror in 2012, meaning we were treated to a slew of the fashion maven’s arsenal of couture gowns. A highlight was this mint green Haute Couture Giambattista Valli stunner. Diane’s dress choice inspired comparisons to Grace Kelly. We think it’s fair enough to say she nailed it.

8. When in doubt opt for Chanel. Michelle Williams did exactly that and chose a powder pink Chanel Couture gown in 2010. The simple, loosely fitted column gown, with draped beading over the shoulders was the ideal feminine balancing act to Michelle’s freshly chopped bob.

9. Red on the red carpet is always a roll of the dice, but Rachel McAdams proved there’s no such thing as rules when it comes to fashion with her show-stealing scarlet Marchesa gown in 2011. Romantic and dramatic, the 1930s silhouetted, tulle gown was the stuff of fairytale. Rachel’s loose waves added proper vintage glamour to boot.

10. Our Cheryl in Cannes! Who’d have thought it? Another red on red carpet story, Cheryl Cole stopped traffic in 2013, opting to wear a Zuhair Murad dress. It was long-sleeved, burgundy and featured heavy embroidery and sequin detail. But it was Cheryl’s loose fishtail plait, that can only be described as a work of art, that had us taking notes. We weren’t 100 per cent on the dress. Our eyes tell us no, but it was Cheryl… at Cannes!

Love all things Cannes Film Festival? Check out these gorgeous vintage photos of the event…

Reading now

Popular fashion stories