PARIS – The Cannes Film Festival is about so much more than just movies. It’s also one of the biggest celebrity events in the world – pulling in stars ranging from Marion Cotillard to Cate Blanchett, Lupita Nyong’o and Julianne Moore for 12 days of red carpet photocalls. Here are some of the 71st annual festival’s most eye-catching looks:
Australian actress and campaigner against sexual harassment Cate Blanchett was not only queen of the jury this year, she also reigned across the red carpet wearing a host of top designer gowns.
Capping the festival, Blanchett oozed power in an Alexander McQueen tailored coat dress at Saturday’s awards ceremony with a giant red silk bow on the back. It was perhaps the best look for the “Lord of the Rings” star who has consistently set the bar high in recent days — including at the premiere of Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman” in a Givenchy haute couture black and red bleeding gown.
Another head-turner was showcased at the screening of “Cold War.” The actress wore a sublime, blue floral gown that brought well-deserved attention to a lesser-known designer, Mary Katrantzou.
Another of the Cannes jury members, “Twilight” star and Chanel brand ambassador, Kristen Stewart often got it right.
At the “BlacKkKlansman” premiere, the 28-year-old sparkled in a beautiful, silver Chanel minidress.
But Stewart won accolades for another kind of fashion statement at that event — by pointedly removed her black Louboutin heels on the red carpet. Cannes’ no-flats policy sparked outrage in 2015 when some women were turned away from the screening of “Carol” because they weren’t wearing heels. Stewart has spoken out against this in the past.
Fashion-wise, the jury was out, so to speak, in the look Stewart chose to close the festival — a sheer embroidered long gown with a high leg slit up the middle.
KENDALL JENNER, IRINA SHAYK AND BELLA HADID
Look no further than models-of-the-minute Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid and Irina Shayk for proof that Cannes is as much about the clothes as the movies.
Shayk, 32, was certainly not sorry for turning heads at the “Sorry Angel” screening in a hot, red Atelier Versace couture dress.
Jenner, 22, stole the show at the “Girls of the Sun” premiere in white tiered tulle gown by Parisian couture house Schiaparelli. She also garnered much attention for a revealing sparkly silver sweater by Nicolas Jebran and classic black pumps at the Cannes’ Fashion for Relief event.
Meanwhile, Hadid, 21, sported some of the best looks of the entire festival including a custom Julien Macdonald black embellished crop top at the annual Fashion for Relief event, and a Dior sheer gown at the house’s May 12 dinner.
Another big fashion hitter was Academy Award-winner and Cannes veteran Lupita Nyong’o.
The 35-year-old star stunned at the “Sorry Angel” premiere in a dramatic white Dior Haute Couture gown, which featured a striking sheer bodice and trendy feathered maxi skirt, alongside Chopard jewelry.
The diaphanous pink Prada gown with spaghetti straps Nyong’o wore to the Chopard Secret Night Party was named the best look of the festival by some observers.
Julianne Moore had a mixed festival in the style stakes this time around.
The youthful-looking 57-year-old made the right kind of a statement in a bright red caped and feathered Givenchy Haute Couture piece for the “Everybody Knows” premiere, with some comparing it to Lupita Nyong’o’s 2014 Golden Globes dress by Ralph Lauren.
But the unfitted black Sonia Rykiel suit she wore to the Chopard Secret Night Party looked square and could have better flattered her petite silhouette.
“The Queen” star Helen Mirren also didn’t fare so well this year. The 72-year-old turned heads for all the wrong reasons at the premiere of “Girls of the Sun” in a medieval-looking blue velvet Elie Saab gown.
Some observers said it looked more like a costume for a period drama than a red carpet dress.
Some named Russian model Natasha Poly the worst fashion offender at Cannes.
Poly clashed with the red carpet at the premiere of “BlacKkKlansman” in an acid violet Atelier Versace couture gown with bejeweled bodice.
The diaphanous skirt panels blew up her crotch in the French Riviera breeze and were unflattering, even on Poly’s statuesque frame.