Elle Fanning is always a standout on the red carpet, but the 19-year-old actress, who stars in the Sofia Coppola-directed film The Beguiled, seems to be having an especially strong showing at this year's Cannes Film Festival, with a wardrobe including dresses by Alexander McQueen, Rodarte, Vivienne Westwood, and Prada. On Tuesday, she wore her most elaborate dress yet: a Christian Dior Couture gown covered in hundreds of feathers.

The Dior gown was inspired by Vincent Van Gogh's "Jardin Fleuris" painting, the dress was first shown at designer Maria Grazia Chiuri's debut couture show at Paris Fashion Week back in January. The collection was a feminist fairytale wonderland, with woodland nymphs walking a moss-lined runway at the Musée Rodin in Paris. Naturally, floral themes ran throughout, with models wearing the chicest possible version of flower crowns and feather headpieces.

Gisela Schober

To construct Fanning's dress for the film festival the French atelier Maison Lemarié spent hours cutting, gluing, and attaching by hand hundreds of miniature flower petals made of feathers to the body of the garment. A blown-up image of Van Gogh's painting was laid underneath the dress while they worked, as to make sure that they got the colors and composition as close to the original as possible.

"The main challenge of this dress was to succeed in respecting the colors, the spots, and the flowers in the background," said one of Dior's couturiers of the labor-intensive behind-the-scenes process.

The results were worth it, and Fanning hit the red carpet looking like a living, breathing, three-dimensional garden of Van Gogh's dreams. It was certainly one of her best and boldest looks while at the festival—and there were many good options to choose from.

Take an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at how Elle Fanning's stunning Dior dress was constructed:

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