The Cannes Film Festival is any fashion lover’s dream. For two weeks, the world’s biggest stars dress up to the absolute nines and hit the red carpet day in and day out. Picking from their favorite couture moments or ready-to-wear gowns, the festival is a time for designer’s most extravagant pieces to shine. No precise aesthetic defines the festival’s red carpet aside from a penchant for statements and a bit of adventurous glamour. Models and actors alike have nailed the assignment wearing a range of designers including big names like Lanvin, Givenchy, and Alexander McQueen, and relatively more niche labels like Haider Ackermann (Tilda Swinton’s Cannes go-to), Narciso Rodriguez, and Ralph & Russo. As stars begin to descend on the south of France for the 2023 edition, we’re highlighting a few of our favorite statements from the Cannes Film Festival red carpet through the ages.
Fanning looked like a modern day princess in a pale pink Armani Privé gown with Chopard jewels fit for royalty.
Davis radiated beauty in a canary yellow Alexander McQueen dress, which she accessorized with Maison Boucheron jewels.
As a jury member, Padukone attended many red carpets during the 2022 festival, but the sculptural orange custom Ashi Studio dress she wore to the 75th anniversary screening of
L'Innocent was our favorite from the event.
The model stole the show in this Schiaparelli fall 2021 couture dress which features a gold necklace shaped like a pair of lungs.
The beautiful details of this Oscar de la Renta gown are what made it a standout during the premiere of
OSS 117: Alerte Rouge en Afrique Noire in 2021.
King brought major regal energy in this black Schiaparelli ball gown to the festival’s amfAR Gala.
All eyes were on Turner-Smith in Gucci at the
Stillwater screening during last year’s festival.
Huppert, ever the ultimate cool girl, showed up to the
Tout S'est Bien Passe (Everything Went Fine) screening in head-to-toe Balenciaga.
Fanning looked like a modern princess in this caped Gucci gown at the screening of
The Dead Don’t Die in 2019.
Hadid’s halter neck silver Elie Saab dress stole the show at Cannes in 2018.
Rihanna stunned in Dior at the premiere of
Okja in 2017.
Dunst made a marigold statement in custom Maison Margiela at the premiere of
The Neon Demon.
Kebede opted for something a little different—a green velvet Haider Ackermann dress with one leg hole—at the premiere of
The Unknown Girl at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.
Chastain radiated old Hollywood glamour in an Alexander McQueen gown at the premiere of
Money Monster during the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.
Iman stunned in Zuhair Murad at the amfAR gala at the Cannes Film Festival in 2015.
This Ralph & Russo gown was just one of a number of stellar red carpet looks from Fan at the 2015 festival.
At the 2015 Cannes Film Festival opening ceremony, Nyong’o made it her show in an emerald green Gucci dress.
Mad Max red carpet drew all the best looks, including Moore’s Givenchy couture in velvet.
It wasn’t her film, but Kebede, in Proenza Schouler, still stole the show at the premiere of
Mad Max: Fury Road during the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.
Lively recently revealed she almost wore this Gucci Premiere dress to the Met Gala in 2014, but last minute decided to save it for
The Captive premiere later that same month at Cannes.
Zhang wore this unique Stéphane Rolland dress on the red carpet of the
Grace of Monaco screening during the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.
Swinton, in her go-to Haider Ackermann, at the premiere of
Only Lovers Left Alive at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.
Chastain’s ivory, caped Versace gown was classically beautiful, but more importantly, it acted as the perfect base for her Bulgari diamond-and-sapphire pendant. The necklace was a gift from Richard Burton to Elizabeth Taylor, making it an appropriate accessory for an anniversary screening of
Cleopatra at the 2013 festival.
For the 2013 premiere of her Coen Brothers film
Inside Llewyn Davis, Mulligan selected a black-and-white Vionnet look, and accessorized with a little Justin Timberlake.
This Vivienne Westwood dress looks like it basically poured onto Kruger’s body.
Campbell reminded us why models are a fixture on the Cannes red carpet when she stepped out in this custom gold Roberto Cavalli halter dress back in 2010.
Blanchett wore an Alexander McQueen gown for the premiere of
Robin Hood at the 2010 festival.
Models descend on Cannes every year, but few can pull off supermodel Evangelista’s statement Lanvin at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival.
While Portman’s beaded black gown was nice, the major statement of this look was the debut of her
V For Vendetta buzz cut, here, at the premiere of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival.
Swinton walked Viktor & Rolf’s fall 2003 runway show, acting as the design duo’s muse, so it’s fitting she wore a look from the brand’s fall 2002 collection to that year’s Cannes festival.
Diaz brought the naked dress to Cannes all the way back in 2002 with the help of Versace.
Campbell, a fixture of the festival, attended the annual amfAr gala in a sheer, paneled gown in 2001.
Per usual, Swinton stood out when she hit the red carpet, this time in a quirky fruit-printed dress by John Galliano for Dior.
Marjan Pejoski, designer of Bjork’s pink tulle gown for the 2000 festival, would go on to make the Icelandic singer her famous Swan Dress for the Oscars just a year later.
Catherine Zeta-Jones, 1999
Zeta-Jones looked like the prom queen of Cannes in this pink Thierry Mugler gown with a structured bodice.
Stone has some fun showing off her beaded Valentino romper with a skirt overlay at the 1995 festival.
Madonna, in Jean-Paul Gaultier, with Alex Keshinian, the director of the film
In Bed With Madonna, at Cannes in 1991.
The legendary actress really brought the ‘80s energy in this red Nolan Miller gown with a cinched waist and some over the top shoulders.
All eyes were on Diana when she walked out in this baby blue, strapless Catherine Walker dress at the festival in 1987.
This article was originally published on
May 15, 2019