The Best Looks of the Cannes Film Festival Red Carpet: A Visual History

Originally Published: 

Blake Lively attends 'The Captive' premiere
Jean Catuffe/FilmMagic/Getty Images

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.

Bella Hadid, 2022

Hadid brought many archive looks to the 2022 festival, but this Tom Ford-era Gucci dress from fall 1996 absolutely takes the cake.

Elle Fanning, 2022

Fanning looked like a modern day princess in a pale pink Armani Privé gown with Chopard jewels fit for royalty.

Viola Davis, 2022

Davis radiated beauty in a canary yellow Alexander McQueen dress, which she accessorized with Maison Boucheron jewels.

Anne Hathaway, 2022

Some would say this Armani Privé dress Hathaway wore to the Armageddon Time premiere began the actress’ current red carpet streak, as she’s hardly had a miss since.

Deepika Padukone, 2022

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.

Bella Hadid, 2021

The model stole the show in this Schiaparelli fall 2021 couture dress which features a gold necklace shaped like a pair of lungs.

Gemma Chan, 2021

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.

Regina King, 2021

King brought major regal energy in this black Schiaparelli ball gown to the festival’s amfAR Gala.

Jodie Turner-Smith, 2021

All eyes were on Turner-Smith in Gucci at the Stillwater screening during last year’s festival.

Isabelle Huppert, 2021

Huppert, ever the ultimate cool girl, showed up to the Tout S'est Bien Passe (Everything Went Fine) screening in head-to-toe Balenciaga.

Elle Fanning, 2019

Fanning looked like a modern princess in this caped Gucci gown at the screening of The Dead Don’t Die in 2019.

Bella Hadid, 2018

Hadid’s halter neck silver Elie Saab dress stole the show at Cannes in 2018.

Rihanna, 2017

Rihanna stunned in Dior at the premiere of Okja in 2017.

Kirsten Dunst, 2016

Dunst made a marigold statement in custom Maison Margiela at the premiere of The Neon Demon.

Liya Kebede, 2016

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.

Jessica Chastain, 2016

Chastain radiated old Hollywood glamour in an Alexander McQueen gown at the premiere of Money Monster during the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.

Chanel Iman, 2015

Iman stunned in Zuhair Murad at the amfAR gala at the Cannes Film Festival in 2015.

Fan Bingbing, 2015

This Ralph & Russo gown was just one of a number of stellar red carpet looks from Fan at the 2015 festival.

Lupita Nyong’o, 2015

At the 2015 Cannes Film Festival opening ceremony, Nyong’o made it her show in an emerald green Gucci dress.

Julianne Moore, 2015

The Mad Max red carpet drew all the best looks, including Moore’s Givenchy couture in velvet.

Liya Kebede, 2015

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.

Blake Lively, 2014

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 Ziyi, 2014

Zhang wore this unique Stéphane Rolland dress on the red carpet of the Grace of Monaco screening during the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.

Tilda Swinton, 2013

Swinton, in her go-to Haider Ackermann, at the premiere of Only Lovers Left Alive at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.

Jessica Chastain, 2013

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.

Carey Mulligan, 2013

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.

Diane Kruger, 2012

This Vivienne Westwood dress looks like it basically poured onto Kruger’s body.

Naomi Campbell, 2010

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.

Cate Blanchett, 2010

Blanchett wore an Alexander McQueen gown for the premiere of Robin Hood at the 2010 festival.

Linda Evangelista, 2008

Models descend on Cannes every year, but few can pull off supermodel Evangelista’s statement Lanvin at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival.

Natalie Portman, 2005

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.

Tilda Swinton, 2003

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.

Cameron Diaz, 2002

Diaz brought the naked dress to Cannes all the way back in 2002 with the help of Versace.

Naomi Campbell, 2001

Campbell, a fixture of the festival, attended the annual amfAr gala in a sheer, paneled gown in 2001.

Tilda Swinton, 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.

Bjork, 2000

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.

Sharon Stone, 1995

Stone has some fun showing off her beaded Valentino romper with a skirt overlay at the 1995 festival.

Madonna, 1991

Madonna, in Jean-Paul Gaultier, with Alex Keshinian, the director of the film In Bed With Madonna, at Cannes in 1991.

Elizabeth Taylor, 1987

The legendary actress really brought the ‘80s energy in this red Nolan Miller gown with a cinched waist and some over the top shoulders.

Princess Diana, 1987

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