There has been a plethora of red carpet events recently, a chance for females to stress over their gown choices and dutifully credit designer names to camera while men rock up in an off-the-rack suit and comfortable shoes.
Most of the actresses, such as Robin Wright, wearily accept the quid pro quo.
“That red carpet syndrome, it’s always going to be about fashion,” Wright said.
“That’s why it’s there, that’s why people are stopped on that red carpet — because they’re wearing a designer’s piece. You’re there to sell; you’re doing them a favour. And, they are doing you a favour by giving you publicity. It’s a give-and-take.”
Fair enough. We all enjoy looking at their dresses, that’s a given.
But what might be just a teeny tiny bit vexing is walking the red carpet as an actress with an enviable body of work, and being judged against a social media sensation or model with an enviable body.
Am I the only person who looks at the Cannes coverage and asks, “Why is Kendall Jenner there?’. And, as an aside, why is she wearing sheer socks with her high-heeled sandals?
Do the more mature actresses just take it in their stride and think, “Never mind, I’ll pop on this beaded sheath with sheer sleeves and happily stand next to the Victoria’s Secret model with borrowed diamonds”?
I’d be such a Grinch if it were me. I’d just wear a dinner suit and my own jewellery and complain about sexism in Hollywood.
But the 40-plus women knocked it out of the park in terms of style this week in Cannes, no question.
You can keep Bella Hadid and her strategically placed pieces of fabric, or the tiresome model Emily Ratajkowski and her black lace get ups –give me Juliette Binoche any day.
Some of my favourites from the red carpet at the annual film festival include…
Robin Wright, 51, in a simple turquoise satin slip dress and a sleek black Stella McCartney pantsuit with the leopard skin heels. Love the length of the pants and the jacket sleeves.
Isabelle Huppert, 64, in absolutely everything she wore, especially the high-waisted jeans and men’s-style shirt combination and the black velvet Saint Laurent sheath dress with the silver embellished sleeve detail. My new style icon.
Andie MacDowell, 59, absolutely gorgeous in a strapless black lace column gown, just the right amount of coverage and glamour.
Nicole Kidman, 49, in a strangely beautiful silver-sequinned and white chiffon-trimmed Rodarte dress that was a cross between a gown and a robe.
Tilda Swinton, 56, in a pretty blue-and-red floral patterned silk dress paired with bright red lipstick.
Charlize Theron, 41, wearing a black dress with a sheer overlay over the décolletage and arms was sensational, as was her silver-and-white beaded evening gown.
Uma Thurman, 47, in the softest pink pleated evening gown, which revealed shoulders and leg.
Monica Bellucci, 52, swathed in the most stupendous black tulle and silk gown.
A sassy Susan Sarandon, 70, in a black leather column skirt, white shirt and blazer. Outstanding.
It seems designers are seeing the light. Dressing the mature actresses is not a chore, as it was seen in the not-so-recent past. It’s a privilege.