Scarlet ladies Eva Mendes and Elisabetta Gregoraci get Venice off to a vibrant start

The Hollywood actress was bang on trend in leopard print Dolce & Gabbana at the opening ceremony of the Venice Film Festival
 Photo: © Getty Images

It wasn't only the red carpet casting a scarlet hue across the opening of the Venice Film festival. The pillar box shade was the colour of choice for the female attendees who turned out for the first film of the cine fest, Italian-made movie Baaria.

Eva Mendes looked fabulous in a red and black leopard print Dolce & Gabbana strapless gown from the 2010 Spring/Summer Cruise collection.

Meanwhile equally as show stopping was Flavio Briatore's model wife Elisabetta Gregoraci.

The 29-year-old beauty stepped out in a red satin mini with a long train to accompany the Formula One boss to the premiere of the new film by Oscar-winning Cinema Paradiso director Giuseppe Tornatore.

The film-maker's heartfelt tribute to his Sicilian hometown, Baaria, is an epic tale spanning three generations from the 1930s to modern times. It is the first Italian film to open Venice in two decades.



Compared to 2008's relatively scaled-down event, this year's festival is shaping up to be something of a starry affair, with George Clooney, Tilda Swinton, Matt Damon and Colin Firth scheduled to attend.

Eva will join Nicolas Cage in presenting their new film, crime thriller Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans.

Meanwhile Viggo Mortensen heads up The Road, adapted from the post-apocalyptic survival novel by Cormac McCarthy, who wrote No Country for Old Men.

Another highlight of the 10-day event is Michael Moore's new film Capitalism: A Love Story, which offers his take on the banking industry's role in the current financial crisis.