Over the past 11 days, Venice has been host to some of the biggest names in film as glamorous A-list stars continue flocking to red carpet celebrations around the world.
Organisers of the 78th International Film Festival have put on a first-class show, which has returned to full size after its much smaller incarnation last year.
Twelve months ago, celebrities were behind walls, social distanced from fans and paparazzi, and the opening and closing parties were cancelled.
Not this year. It’s full steam ahead with the biggest names in the industry gracing a very wide red carpet including Anna Taylor-Joy, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kristen Stewart, Helen Mirren and Chloe Zhao.
But it was Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty, Interstellar) who stole the show around the world, with the internet losing its mind – not for her stunning red-sequinned strapless gown by Atelier Versace, but for her co-star Oscar Isaac’s cheeky, flirtatious arm kissing.
It was a stark reminder we have been missing that “red carpet chemistry”.
There to promote their new HBO series, Scenes From A Marriage, it was all in good fun, and, well, clever marketing.
With Harper’s Bazaar politely confirming the fashion as follows, “Looks have ranged from classic to daring, including floor-length gowns, smart dresses from mini to ankle-length, and elegant pant suits”, there were definitely some hits and misses.
Let’s take a look.
For the premiere of her much-anticipated film Spencer, where she plays the late Princess Diana, the Twilight franchise star wore mint-green Chanel book-ended with a lot of lace, and a black-velvet bow at the waist. The pairing was slightly mismatched in both colour and style.
British actress Sharon Duncan-Brewster, best known for her Rogue One Star Wars performance, was all emerald in an Etro gown at the premiere of Dune. Co-stars Josh Brolin, Oscar Isaac and Javier Bardem were green with envy.
Kate Hudson’s finest hour. With loads of space around her, she is red on red in Valentino from the brand’s Resort 22 collection at the premiere of her American fantasy flick Mona Lisa And The Blood Moon.
Being COVID safe, veteran British actor Helen Mirren had a sequined mask in hand, complemented by a sequined headband to keep her grey locks in place, all for her pale-green sequined Dolce & Gabbana gown.
It was dramatic alright! Maybe Cythnia Erivo was channelling her Dune costume by pairing a metallic sleeveless wrap-around top with heat-blanket sleeves in Schiaparelli Couture to the premiere on September 3.
It was all going so well, right up until we looked at the pancake hat atop Anna Taylor-Joy’s (The Queen’s Gambit) stunning hot-pink satin Dior gown. Some said it was a “Barbie moment”, others said it was just a lovely pink woven beret. Either way, it turned heads for the premiere of her film Last Night in Soho on September 4.
In a Christian Dior gown for the Dune premiere, Swedish actress Rebecca Ferguson once said “not being recognised” suited her. We definitely saw this elegant gown, with the ruffle detailing on the front “reminiscent of the giant sandworm we’ve caught a glimpse of in the trailers for the movie”, according to one film critic website.
A serious Kirsten Dunst donned a glamorous black Armani Privé gown for the premiere of Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog and still turned heads. The four-minute standing ovation saw to that.
Supported by famously handsome brother Jake, Maggie Gyllenhaal says she “never felt more alive” than when she embarked on her directorial debut for The Lost Daughter. Subdued in a stunning black velvet gown, it was a much better look than an earlier roll call in an ill-fitting Schiaparelli pantsuit.