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Cannes 2019: The Best Dressed

Elsa Hosk attends the screening of A Hidden Life in Etro Couture. Photo by Gisela Schober/Getty Images

For two weeks in May, the glamorous French Riviera town comes alive with the film industry’s movers and shakers. Here are the best red-carpet looks at the Cannes Film Festival…

Reporter
Matt Baron/Shutterstock

Sara Sampaio

Sampaio has a Black Swan moment in a spectacular feathered gown by Armani Prive and Messika jewelry

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David Fisher/Shutterstock

Jasmine Tookes

Jasmine Tookes is a ray of sunshine in a ruffled, ombré-yellow gown by Georges Hobeika

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Karolina Kurková

More modern bridal inspiration at Cannes: supermodel Karolina Kurková wore an off-the-shoulder, pearl-embellished dress by Gabriela Hearst and Messika jewelry to the amfAR Gala

David Fisher/Shutterstock

Tami Williams

A trailing skirt elevates Tami Williams’ sleek jumpsuit from simple to standout

David Fisher/Shutterstock

Chu Wong

Chu Wong was a classic beauty in a bias-cut, mustard-colored silk dress

David Fisher/Shutterstock

Nina Dobrev

Dobrev perfectly highlights her statement diamond Messika necklace with a sleek up-do and off-the-shoulder Dior dress

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Margot Robbie

At a photocall for her new film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Margot Robbie kept things simple in an ultra-pretty white cotton dress by Chanel

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Izabel Goulart

Izabel Goulart brought the romance in a burgundy tulle dress by Maison Valentino Couture, complete with ruby and diamond jewelry by Chopard

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Josephine Skriver

Skriver perfectly showcased her emerald jewelry in a super-sleek backless white cape and wide-leg pants

Daniele Venturelli/WireImage

Léa Seydoux

Léa Seydoux wore a beaded bustier top and blue cigarette pants by Louis Vuitton for the screening of Oh Mercy!

Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Nabilla Benattia

French model Nabilla Benattia hits the sweet spot in a layered tulle gown by Ali Younes Couture

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Natasha Poly

Poly ruled the red carpet in a glittering gown with a cascading brocade train by Atelier Versace

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Leomie Anderson

Leomie Anderson’s custom ruffled Rami Kadi gown left others trailing in her wake

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Elle Fanning

One of our favorite red-carpet dressers, Elle Fanning had a Grace Kelly moment in Dior at the screening of Once Upon a Time In Hollywood

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Camila Morrone

Model and actress Camila Morrone wore a feathered Miu Miu gown and Bvlgari jewelry for the screening of Once Upon a Time In Hollywood

Anthony Harvey/Shutterstock

Duckie Thot

The Australian model amped up the drama in a statement floral gown by Vivienne Westwood

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Soo Joo Park

Model Soo Joo Park eschewed a gown in favor of a sequined top and pants with sculptural diamond jewelry, all by Chanel

Marc Piasecki/FilmMagic

Dakota Fanning

Continuing with the night’s Old Hollywood mood, Dakota Fanning was pure ’50s elegance in a white silk gown by Armani Prive and Chopard jewelry

SEBASTIEN NOGIER/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Virginie Ledoyen

French actress Virginie Ledoyen proves that less is more in a simple yet stunning emerald green dress

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George Pimentel/WireImage

Natalia Vodianova

Supermodel Natalia Vodianova wore a stunning crystal-embellished dress by Atelier Versace for the screening of La Belle Epoque, before changing into a red one-shouldered dress and ruby and diamond jewelry by Chopard for the jewelry maison’s Trophée dinner later that evening

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Fernanda Liz

Model Fernanda Liz wore a sheer Dior gown and Flavia Vetorasso jewelry for the screening of La Belle Epoque

Gisela Schober/Getty Images

Liya Kebede

The Ethiopian-born model wore an embroidered tulle gown by Maison Valentino for the screening of Pain And Glory

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Anja Rubik

Polish supermodel Anja Rubik wore a cutout Saint Laurent dress for the premiere of A Hidden Life

Marc Piasecki/FilmMagic

Bella Hadid

Hadid looked red hot in Roberto Cavalli Couture and Bvlgari jewelry

Marc Piasecki/FilmMagic

Ming Xi

Newly engaged supermodel Ming Xi gave us all the princess vibes in her ultra-pretty embellished sheer gown

Samir Hussein/WireImage

Toni Garrn

Toni Garrn serves up modern bridal inspiration with her minimalist white gown by Ulyana Sergeenko and Messika jewelry

Marc Piasecki/FilmMagic

Guan Xiaotong

Chinese actress Guan Xiaotong’s crystal-encrusted Atelier Versace gown was a work of art, complemented with Chopard jewelry

GUILLAUME HORCAJUELO/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Priyanka Chopra

Chopra made her Cannes debut in a glittering split-leg gown by Roberto Cavalli Couture, Chopard jewels and Christian Louboutin pumps

David Fisher/Shutterstock

Bella Hadid

Bella Hadid looked ethereal in a tiered white tulle confection by Dior and Bvlgari diamonds

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Julianne Moore

Moore continued her red-carpet reign in a silver sequined gown and flowing pink cape by Givenchy Haute Couture at the Rocketman premiere

Marc Piasecki/FilmMagic

Maria Borges

Model Maria Borges sent hearts aflutter with her beaded and feathered Roberto Cavalli dress, finished with Chopard jewelry

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Sara Sampaio

Sara Sampaio channeled man of the hour Elton John at the Rocketman premiere in a silver caped suit by Rami Kadi, complete with Boucheron jewelry

Daniele Venturelli/WireImage

Blanca Padilla

Model Blanca Padilla epitomizes modern glamour in a high-neck, cutout black gown by Givenchy and Bvlgari jewelry

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Gelila Bekele

Filmmaker and activist Gelila Bekele channeled old-school glamour in a sheer black dress that was beaded from head to toe

Samir Hussein/WireImage

Elle Fanning

Fanning brought the romance to the red carpet in a beautiful floral gown by Valentino, complemented with miniature flowers in her braided up-do

Julianne Moore

Wearing Chopard jewelry and a beaded leather cape over a simple column gown, both by Louis Vuitton, Julianne Moore had one of the standout looks of the second night

Gisela Schober/Getty Images

Hina Khan

Actress Hina Khan shutdown the red carpet with her intricately beaded gown complete with statement flowing sleeves

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Carla Bruni

Singer-songwriter and model Carla Bruni looked immaculate in a blue satin dress by Celine

Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

Tina Kunakey Cassel

The French model kept things beautifully simple in Messika jewelry and a strapless velvet and satin dress, in her first red-carpet appearance since she gave birth to a daughter last month

George Pimentel/WireImage

Elle Fanning

Former PorterEdit cover star Elle Fanning is a red-carpet revelation in a caped Gucci gown and Chopard diamonds

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Malgosia Bela

Polish model Malgosia Bela looks the business in an exquisite tailored pantsuit

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Caroline de Maigret

Fashion editor Caroline de Maigret flies the French flag in black and gold Chanel

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Tilda Swinton

The perennially cool Tilda Swinton is never one to be outshone

COURTESY CHOPARD

Julianne Moore

Julianne Moore has us green with envy in a sweeping Dior gown and diamond and emerald jewelry by Chopard

The lowdown

While the Oscars are often regarded as the apex of film-industry awards, the Cannes Film Festival has long been considered the most glamorous event on the cinema circuit. Each year sees Hollywood icons, art-house filmmakers and everyone who’s anyone jet into the picturesque resort town on the Côte d’Azur for a bonanza of red carpets, premieres and exclusive afterparties.

Although the Cannes Film Festival draws attention for its glitz, there’s plenty of serious business taking place, too. Behind the scenes, as movie stars parade their couture gowns and jewels in front of the cameras, multimillion-dollar deals are being made; with every major filmmaker, producer and distributor – plus a fair few sponsors – in town, Cannes is a networking Mecca. And, of course, there are prestigious prizes to be won. Selecting the winners is a painstaking affair, with the highest honor of the Palme d’Or – one of the most esteemed awards in cinema – previously awarded to the likes of Quentin Tarantino, David Lynch and Francis Ford Coppola.

This year’s festival runs from Tuesday May 14 to Saturday May 25.

Memorable moments

Cannes attracts both Hollywood and real-life royalty. It’s where Grace Kelly, fresh from her Oscar win, met husband-to-be Prince Rainier in 1955. And where, in 1987, Prince Charles and Diana walked the red carpet at the 40th festival, the latter in a powder-blue gown by Catherine Walker.

The festival has also provided the backdrop to now-iconic images of ‘golden age’ film stars: a young Bardot sunbathing in her bikini; Jane Birkin being photographed by Serge Gainsbourg in the late ’60s; a 25-year-old Elizabeth Taylor in a diamond tiara alongside Mike Todd, and then two decades later, in chandelier earrings and an over-the-top red gown that perfectly encapsulated the ’80s. More recent couples have also had their share of memorable red-carpet moments at Cannes: a heavily pregnant Angelina Jolie in a green Max Azria dress alongside Brad Pitt, or Amal Clooney in a pale-yellow Grecian gown by Versace, sharing a tender moment with husband George.

It takes two
Some of the most iconic couples to walk the Cannes red carpet

The incredible paparazzi presence also makes Cannes the perfect platform for a protest. Last year, 82 women (representing the number of female directors who have been nominated at Cannes, compared to over 1,600 men) made a stand for gender equality in the film industry, while black French actresses protested endemic racism. Defying the festival’s super-strict dress code is also noteworthy: see Julia Roberts going barefoot to protest the ‘no flats’ rule in 2016 or a 1991 Madonna in a Jean Paul Gaultier bralette – and very little else.

As for the films themselves? So far, only one female director has been awarded the first prize – Jane Campion in 1993 – although in more recent history, the Palme d’Or for Blue Is the Warmest Color was shared between its director and two lead actresses. Michael Moore’s controversial Fahrenheit 9/11 famously received a 20-minute standing ovation – one of the longest recorded – while cult classics Pulp Fiction and Taxi Driver were both booed by festivalgoers.

Stand and be counted
A total of 82 women protest on the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival in 2018
Lupita Nyong’o
Tilda Swinton
Laura Harrier

Red-carpet queens

When Lupita Nyong’o twirled her green Gucci gown for the cameras at Cannes back in 2015, it made for an iconic fashion moment, and the star has since returned to reassert her style credentials, last year turning heads in a white cage dress by Louis Vuitton. The 71st annual festival also saw President of the Jury Cate Blanchett looking simultaneously edgy and elegant in labels including Armani, Alexander McQueen, Givenchy and Mary Katrantzou.

Tilda Swinton regularly tops Cannes best-dressed lists for her uniquely androgynous style and laid-back polish – see the mint-green skirt suit by Haider Ackermann and sequined black Chanel jumpsuit worn at the 2017 festival. Uma Thurman’s most stylish moments have come courtesy of Versace, who dressed the star in a strapless white feathered number in 2011 and a pale pink off-the-shoulder gown in 2017.

Hollywood up-and-comer Laura Harrier made her Cannes Film Festival debut last year in a pleated peach gown by Louis Vuitton for BlacKkKlansman’s premiere and a stunning backless blue dress by The Row for the amfAR Gala. And Elle Fanning has consistently shown poise and presence beyond her years in couture pieces by Vivienne Westwood and Zuhair Murad.

The Cannes 2019 contenders

The 72nd Cannes Film Festival this year sees 21 films from around the world competing for the elusive Palme d’Or. Among them is The Dead Don’t Die, a comedy-horror by Jim Jarmusch starring everyone from Steve Buscemi to Selena Gomez, which will show on opening night. Two-time Palme winners Ken Loach and the Dardenne brothers will also return to the competition category: Loach debuts Sorry We Missed You, about an under-pressure delivery driver, while the Belgian directing duo are vying for the top prize with The Young Ahmed, the tale of a teenager who is radicalized.

French female director Céline Sciamma is perhaps best known for Girlhood, which received international acclaim back in 2014, and this year she’ll be showing Portrait of a Lady on Fire, a romantic drama set in the 18th century. Meanwhile, Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar will debut Pain and Glory, a nod to Fellini’s , starring Antonio Banderas and Penélope Cruz.

However, it’s the competition’s most recent addition that’s attracting by far the most buzz: Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time in Hollywood boasts an A-list cast (Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie all feature) befitting the title and, win or lose, it is set to be the most talked-about film at the festival this year.

Scene stealers
Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, The Dead Don’t Die and Portrait of a Lady on Fire are contending for this year’s Palme d'Or

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