In the beautiful resort town on the French Riviera, film stars, renowned directors and producers alike congregated together for the 68th annual Cannes Film Festival, where all attention is on the clothes as celebrities don their finest gowns ahead of their red carpet debuts.
During the 12-day event, which runs from the 13th until the 24th of May, it is undeniable that, “Who are you wearing?” is the question on every reporter’s lips, as fashion writers and critics zone in on the glamorous movie stars and their exquisite gowns.
While the attention may be exclusively about the women on the red carpet, ‘behind-the-screens’ females are still the minority. Vogue described the drought of female directors at Cannes as the “the unofficial theme of this year’s festival.”
Over the last decade, the main competition has seen females only having directed 9% of the films. This year the film festival opened with ‘La Tête Haute,’ directed by Emmanuelle Bercot, which is the first female directed film to open the event in 28 years.
At this years Cannes Film festival, organisers are hosting a UN conference about equality on the red carpet, aimed to encourage more women to work in film production.
Despite the lack of females behind the camera, the female actresses grasped the world’s attention as a sea of photographers captured the unique designs featured on some of the world’s most beautiful women.
While the festival has not wrapped-up yet, Lupita Nyong’o has already risen to the top of every fashion bloggers best dressed list, wearing a chiffon plisse custom Gucci gown in a vibrant ‘grass hopper green’ colour with cape detail. Nyong’o paired her dress with green satin heels, a blush pink satin clutch and thanked “Uganda’s women for the hair inspiration” on her Instagram page.
Although, Lupita’s use of social media to document her experience at Cannes may not receive the appraisal of everyone at the event, grand dame of French cinema Catherine Deneuve, argues that we have reached the end of an era in which stars no longer exist.
“It’s the social networks that prevent people from dreaming anymore about stars. I find it a pity. Being a star entails glamour and secrecy; it’s hard to keep any degree of mystery nowadays,” Deneuve told reporters.
Perhaps the allure and magnetism of today’s film stars may be a thing of the past, with the rise of social media we are often already aware of what the stars are wearing long before they grace the red carpet. With snaps of celebrities in the hair and makeup chair and having pre-event drinks filling our news feeds the excitement and mystery behind what the stars are wearing is almost a thing of the past.
Although, this certainly did not deter our attention from this year’s red carpet styles, with sleek solid colours being a popular choice.
Natalie Portman wore a bold red Dior Haute Couture gown at the opening ceremony. Portman’s outfit expelled elegance and old Hollywood glamour, which is ideally fitting considering the announcement that Portman will portray Jackie Kennedy in a Pablo Larraín film.
In contrast, Rachel Weisz wore a more contemporary garment, donning a black Narciso Rodriguez scuba crepe jumpsuit with thin straps and rectangular cut out. The look was more casual than many of the heavily embroidered, intricately detailed outfits, but against the sunny Cannes backdrop, Weisz looked chic in a modern twist on the little black dress.
Emma Stone, also sported a textured Dior gown in white with a high neckline and thin straps, complimented by a gold and diamond chocker, which gave a her look a sophisticated 90s feel to her elegant and graceful gown.
American Sniper actress, Sienna Miller is on the festivals jury this year. On the opening night she exhibited a midnight blue Lanvin dress featuring a twisted bow on an asymmetric shoulder. The column silhouette was sleek and the shoulder detail pulled the look together. For her jury photo call at the Palais Du Festival, Miller wore a taupe and black fitted Balenciaga dress, featuring a range of textured fabrics as well as a thick off-the-shoulder neckline.
Upon reflecting on this year’s 68th Cannes Film Festival, we saw two ends of the scale with actresses shining brighter than ever and the women behind the camera diminishing into the shadows. However, this problem is not exclusive to Cannes and sexism in the film industry remains a large issue. Hopefully with new initiatives such as the UN conference into equality on the red carpet it will drive more women to express their ideas through the medium of film.