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Best Cannes Film Festival Dresses Of All Time

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Best Cannes Film Festival dresses of all time

By Marie Claire May 11, 2016 59 images

Every year the rich and beautiful descend on the French town of Cannes for the eponymous film festival. Check out our pick of the most memorable dresses over the years.

Cannes retrospective Credit: Rex Features

The Cannes Film Festival sees some of the world’s most iconic stars jet into the French Riviera, year in, year out, and naturally, the red carpet out there is a pretty spectacular affair.

This year, like the last, we’re expecting an impressive selection of glamorous gowns from the annual two-week event, as the fashion world’s lead designers dress the film world’s leading ladies.

Until then, we’re looking back at some of the most incredible, and iconic, fashion moments of all time.

Now in it’s 69th year, the festival has seen plenty of showstopping dresses over the years. From Brigitte Bardot in a demure day frock to Sophia Loren’s strapless ball gown, and even Mia Farrow in a silky printed maxi dress – the event was a pretty starry affair from the get go.

Johnny Depp and Kate Moss made their mark at the event as the ultimate 90s couple way back in 1998. Kate in a signature little black cocktail dress, complete with feather neckline and Johnny in an easy Tux and grey shirt combo – they set the bar for years to come.

One of our all-time favourite moments has to be Princess Diana who slipped into a beautiful floor-grazing powder blue gown in 1987, switching things-up the next day in a chic printed dress and white blazer combo.

More recently, the likes of Carey Mulligan and Jessica Chastain ensured the glamour remained of the highest level, working frothy tulle creations and sleek Grecian-inspired gowns for their turn on the red carpet.

Yes, it’s fair to say Cannes Film Festival is one seriously stylish affair.

Click through to view the most iconic Cannes dresses of all time.

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Claudia Schiffer: 2007

Never getting it wrong on the red carpet, back in 2007 Claudia donned an exquisite navy figure-hugging gown with flowing, fishtail skirt for her turn in the limelight at the Cannes Film Festival. The cut-out back detailing showed off her enviable physique and the super kept hair soft and flowing and make-up understated, leaving her dress to provide the drama.

Image credit: Rex Features
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Dita Von Teese: 2007

Exuding the old-school Hollywood glamour for which she is famed, Dita Von Teese smouldered in a powder blue gown at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. With soft Marcel waves in her hair, a slick of signature ruby red lipstick and some serious bling round her neck, the burlesque star gave a scene-stealing turn on the Ocean’s 13 premiere red carpet.

Image credit: Rex Features
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Natalie Portman: 2008

Always elegant and sophisticated, Natalie Portman was a blue belle at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival, stepping out at the Le Silence de Lorna film premiere in a cobalt Lanvin spring/summer ’08 dress and metallic peep-toe sandals. A contemporary take on red carpet glamour, no wonder the chic actress remains a best-dressed list staple.

Image credit: Rex Features
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Elizabeth Banks: 2009

The 2009 Cannes Film Festival kicked off with a handful of stunning couture gowns at the premiere of the animated Pixar movie, Up. Elizabeth Banks was a leading light at the screening in her high-octane, one-shouldered Armani Privé spring ’09 gown with stunning ruched folds. A delicious splash of old-school Hollywood glamour.

Image credit: Rex Features
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Angelina Jolie: 2009

Out supporting hubbie Brad Pitt at the premiere of Inglourious Basterds, Angelina Jolie looked sublime in a Versace Atelier gown, in one of the season’s hottest hues – nude. But it was the detailing which really caught our attention. A thigh-high split flashed the actress’s never-ending pins, while beauty wise it was all about old school Hollywood glamour, from her cascading curls to the rich ruby lips.

Image credit: Rex Features
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Michelle Williams: 2010

Having not put a style step wrong at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Michelle Williams continued her run of best-dressed moments in a thigh-skimming Sonia Rykiel minidress matched with red satin Salvatore Ferragamo heels. A sartorial breath of fresh air amongst the sea of floor-skimming designs, Ms Williams proved a touch of originality in the style stakes goes far.

Image credit: Rex Features
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Diane Kruger

In 2012, Diane Kruger took up a place on the Cannes Film Festival jury, and was in town for the duration of the festival. Cue a string of gorgeous gowns. While the actress wowed in everything from Chanel to Chalayan, her striking, old Hollywood-esque structured Christian Dior ball gown was by far our favourite – and our favourite look of hers to date. (2012)

Image credit: Rex Features
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Jessica Chastain: 2012

Proving her red carpet style credentials beyond all doubt, Jessica Chastain had a serious style moment at the festival in 2013, stepping out at the premiere of Lawless in a shimmering gold Gucci gown. According to stylist Elizabeth Stewart, Jessica had considered the dress for the Oscars, but after going with McQueen instead, saved the creation for Cannes.

Image credit: Rex Features
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Nicole Kidman: 2013

As a member of the Cannes Festival jury in 2013, film festival veteran Nicole Kidman stepped out in no less than 10 couture dresses during her four-week stay on the Croisette. Her stand-out? A strapless floral creation by Christian Dior, worn to the festival opening ceremony, a screening of Baz Luhrman’s Great Gatsby. Beautiful.

Image credit: Rex Features
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Jessica Chastain: 2013

A Cannes Festival veteran, Jessica Chastain once again had the fashion pack swooning as she hit the red carpet in a simple white Versace gown when she attended a special Cleopatra screening in 2013. The actress paid homage to the film’s leading lady by accessorising with tumbling old Hollywood curls and a stunning diamond pendant belonging to Elizabeth Taylor herself.

Image credit: Rex Features
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Rosie Huntington-Whiteley: 2014

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley regularly tops best-dressed lists for her red carpet fashion choices. The glittering green Gucci Premiere gown she donned for a screening of The Search at the Cannes Film Festival earns her another win. She teamed the soft jade dress, thoughtfully decorated with beads, with smoky eyes, dark pink lipstick and sparkling de Grisogono earrings.

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Alessandra Ambrosio: 2014

Being a top model, Alessandra Ambrosio has never been one to shy away from showing off her incredible physique – and the Roberto Cavalli gown she choose for the amfAR Cinema Against Aids Gala at the Cannes Film Festival did just that. Cut-out side panels drew attention to the Brazilian’s trim waist, while a thigh-high split made the most of her long and lean legs. Alessandra added a pop of colour to her look with a sexy slick of bright red lipstick.

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