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Cannes Film Festival: 15 best dresses of all time

This year's fashionable festival runs from 16 - 27 May

Sofia Loren, Cannes Film Festival 1955
Lauren Ramsay
Online Writer
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There’s not many occasions more sartorially exquisite than the annual Cannes Film Festival. And narrowing down the number of iconic fashion moments is virtually impossible, for an event that has been as much about the red carpet glam as the film premieres since the 1950s. 

It may be one of the ‘Big Three’ of the European film festivals (alongside Venice and Berlin), and one of the ‘Big Five’ international film festivals (Venice, Berlin, Toronto and Sundance in Salt Lake City), but Cannes undoubtedly brings a fashion agenda that captures the glamorous, luxurious landscape of the French Riviera. 

MORE: Cannes Film Festival: the 15 best beauty looks of all time 

RELATED: Cannes Film Festival 2022: The best dresses on the red carpet 

The festival takes place over 12 days, with this year’s 76th edition taking place from 16th - 27th May 2023. And alongside the red carpet glam, this year will bring fashion show excellence, as Dua Lipa and Donatella Versace are set to preview their High Summer women’s collection, “La Vacanza” on May 23.

From Sofia Loren in the 50s, to Diana Ross in the 70’s, Princess Diana in the 80s, the supermodels of the 90s and the naughties It-girls who started the beloved Y2K trend, all the way up to Anne Hathaway stealing the show in Armani Prive in 2022. There has never ever been a dull fashion moment.

Cannes Film Festival's 15 best fashion moments of all time:

Naomi Campbell - 2010

Naomi Campbell at Cannes, 2010© Getty
Naomi Campbell

Naomi glimmered in a slinky custom Roberto Cavalli dress.

Kate Moss - 1998

Kate Moss at Cannes, 1998© Getty
Kate Moss

Kate and Johnny Depp were the undisputed King and Queen of Cannes style. in 1998 Kate wore a black vintage feather trimmed dress to the Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas premiere. Almost ten years later she replicated the dress for her first ever design collaboration with Topshop.

Madonna - 1991

Madonna at Cannes, 1991© Getty

An iconic outfit, an iconic photo. Madonna stole the show when she arrived wearing nothing but a Jean Paul Gaultier cone bra, with high waisted briefs and a satin cape. The cone bra went on to become one of her signature outfits.

Deepika Padukone - 2022

Deepika Padukone at Cannes, 2022© Getty
Deepika Padukone

The actress stole the red carpet for us last year, hands down. For the closing ceremony she took the traditional saree and gave it the most exquisite contemporary twist. She wore a custom off-white ruffled gown by Abu Jani-Sandeep Khosla, paired with an equally as scintillating pearl necklace that draped across her entire neckline.

Bella Hadid - 2021

Bella Hadid at Cannes, 2021© Getty
Bella Hadid

The supermodel has had many-an-iconic Cannes red carpet moment, but this gold Schiaparelli bra was sensational.

Kristen Stewart - 2018

Kristen Stewart  at Cannes, 2018© Getty
Kristen Stewart

Though we loved Kristen's custom Chanel couture mini dress, this moment was even more memorable because she took off her Christian Louboutin's and walked barefoot across the red carpet in protest. Women were reportedly denied access to certain premiere's wearing flat shoes.

Diana Ross - 1973

Diana Ross  at Cannes, 1973© Getty
Diana Ross

Diana made headlines in 1973 by wearing a three-piece tuxedo suit to the Academy Awards. She wore an stunning embellished gown with an oversized collar to Cannes later that year.

Jennifer Aniston - 2004

Jennifer Aniston at Cannes, 2004© Getty
Jennifer Aniston

One of the most iconic Cannes photos ever? Jennifer Aniston stepped out with former husband Brad Pitt wearing a slinky white beaded number by Versace.

Anne Hathaway - 2022

Anne Hathaway at Cannes, 2022© Getty
Anne Hathaway

The devil wears Prada, but Anne Hathaway wore Armani Prive for her Cannes red carpet debut, and stole the show whilst doing so.

Diana, Princess of Wales - 1987

Princess Diana at Cannes, 1987© Getty
Princess Diana

In one of her most iconic fashion moments, the late princess wore a powder blue chiffon gown by one of her favourite designers, Catherine Walker. Elizabethi Debicki then paid homage to Diana and this outfit for the premiere of The Crown, in which Elizabeth plays the character of Lady Di.

Sophia Loren - 1955

Sophia Loren at Cannes, 1955© Getty
Sophia Loren

Italian actress Sophia personified old Hollywood Glamour in a strapless broderie anglaise and tulle ball gown, paired with an elegant fur stole, contrasting opera gloves and a statement necklace.

Margot Robbie - 2019

Margot Robbie at Cannes, 2019© Getty
Margot Robbie

Margot Robbie was the moment in this Chanel ensemble. Black-sequinned cigarette pants paired with a pink baby-doll top was truly sensational.

Angelina Jolie - 2011

Angelina Jolie at Cannes, 2011© Getty
Angelina Jolie

Queen of the red carpet Angelina Jolie stopped the audience in their tracks as she walked down the stairs in 2011. The silk cutom Atelier Versace gown with a thigh high split is one of her best of all time.

Brigitte Bardot - 1953

Brigitte Bardot at Cannes, 1953© Getty
Brigitte Bardot

Brigitte was the ultimate bombshell in Cannes this year, posing at the beach in bikinis which was scandalous at the time. She then stole the red carpet in a tulle ball gown and a fur stole. Iconic.

Blake Lively - 2016

Blake Lively at Cannes, 2016© Getty
Blake Lively

For the premiere of The BFG Movie, Blake stunned in a bright blue Atelier Versace gown that we were unsure she'd ever be able to top. Cue: her Met Gala appearance six years later...

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