Sure, awards season is nice, but there’s nothing like Cannes Film Festival. Once a year, the entertainment and fashion industries to unite on the red carpet in a show-stopping couture—setting trends for occasion-wear that lasts several seasons and beyond.
In one month, the week-long celebration of cinema will return for the 72nd year and celebrities will flock to frolic in the South of France once again. It has attracted the likes of Bridget Bardot and Rihanna, Marilyn Monroe and Bella Hadid, and the unspoken competition to arrive in the most memorable look of the festival starts again. In preparation for the incomparable carpet style, we’ve compiled the best looks throughout the years—a visual feast and the best summer occasion inspiration to go straight to your mood board.
The French model was nothing less than angelic performing at the festival’s opening ceremony in 1995. Barefoot in a simple white slip and long, flowing curls, Paradis is a walking dream.
One of the most famous naked dresses to ever be created, this asymmetrical, sheer Ralph & Russo dress will forever go down in history as a construction masterpiece. Offset with a French manicure, coiled stilettos and bright white eyeshadow, Hadid nailed it—head to toe.
The younger Hadid earns a special double mention considering her Cannes debut was so truly iconic. The red satin wrap-inspired backless gown with a light train, hip high split and plunging neckline she wore in 2016 seemed to defy gravity itself. This is how you do a red carpet.
There’s no such thing as too much tulle. Kendall Jenner walked the carpet in matching emerald jewelry and a sheer, tiered, white backless dress—cinched to perfection with a chunky belt.
Your forever style inspiration, Birkin arrived at the 1974 Cannes Film Festival in a white dress with a thigh high split and her trademark basket in tow. This photograph should also serve as proof the beaded belt needs to make a comeback.
It wouldn’t be a style file without a Kim Kardashian-West mention, and it wouldn’t be a Kardashian red carpet moment without either a sheer, glitter or chainmail element. In this look, the makeup mogul hits all three, no doubt leaving the 69th Cannes festival onlookers in awe.
Lana Del Rey
The honey-hued Lana Del Rey of 2012 was really something, and her Cannes appearance only reinforced her reign. In a black strapless gown with a tiered-tulle feature, she stole the show.
Could we ask for anything more than Kate Moss in feathers on Johnny Depp’s arm? 1997 Cannes was blessed.
Also definitely worth mentioning, Kate in a simple white dress and diamonds with minimal makeup and hair swept into a simple bun.
There was nobody on the level of Bridgette Bardot in post-war France, and this photo of her enjoying a beach break in this classic silhouette—with an army of photographers at the ready to capture the moment, no less.
Another double look incoming, Rihanna at the festival’s 70th year was truly everything. Here she is in baby blue satin shirt dress with built in hot pants and a corset to keeping it all together.
And of course, who could forget when she definitively declared tiny glasses “a thing” in this cream strapless gown and matching coat shrugged off the shoulders. Cinderella of dreams.