The annual Cannes Film Festival is as much about fashion as films, with stars pushing their personal brands via frocks.
None did it better – or worse, depending on your taste – this year than model Alessandra Ambrosio.
On May 15, she flaunted (an overused description but the best one here) a scarlet Julien Macdonald chiffon halter with soaring split and magician-style cape. Ta da!
The main trick? How the Victoria’s Secret model simultaneously kept her modesty while giving away a stack of mystery.
While Ambrosio’s dress was the most head turning of the festival, it’s nothing the Croisette hasn’t seen before.
In May 2016, model Bella Hadid hit the red carpet in a crimson Alexandre Vauthier gown, which at the time was hailed as the most risque in Cannes’ history. (Her secret? A built-in bodysuit.)
Ambrosio made the barely-there dress her trademark at Cannes 2019. For May 14’s opening ceremony and premiere of The Dead Don’t Die, she went with a guilty pleasure Ralph & Russo.
The feathered number was like the Barbie doll dress your five-year-old chooses which you think is tacky but pure fun.
Elle Fanning owned opening night in a plunging Gucci gown that was close to perfect with its floral embroidered belt detail and (good) cape, worn with crimson lip, Chopard jewels and Gucci platform sandals.
Chloe Sevigny also slayed, in a strapless gown with opera gloves, diamonds, dramatic scarf and classic black pumps. Super classy.
French model Caroline de Maigret struck a perfect note of insouciance with minimal make-up, undone hair and pockets in her vintage-inspired Chanel.
Brazilian model Izabel Goulart was supernaturally amazing, albeit a tiny bit obvious, in ox blood, second skin backless Etro.
Eva Longoria looked like she’d thrown on some bedsheets and was running away to ice dancing school.
Araya Hargate drew the short straw and had to wear the evening’s mandatory tiered, tulle, ombre confection. Cliched wackiness.
OK, so now it’s starting to seem like a theme. In (fabulous) cobalt, fashion blogger Farhana Bodi was both overwhelming and underwhelming in that way where a look has everything but originality.
Selena Gomez made history: First person to look ace in a red carpet crop top. Her Louis Vuitton padded skirt was futuristically retro.
Tilda Swinton is style. Authentic, interesting, covered-up, amazing, from the gunmetal shade to the asymmetric beading and her hair.
Yolonda Ross went with what I call ‘passionfruit cocktails by the Palm Springs pool at 5pm on a Saturday night in 1973’. Shoes needed work.
Julianne Moore looked flawless as ever in Dior, but do you feel you’ve seen this all before? Maybe that’s the beauty of it. Maybe it’s just dull.
Javier Bardem went classic, Charlotte Gainsbourg went full French punky chic with zebra striped mini, sheer stockings and bare face.
Romee Strijd was stunning but lacked irony. And also, what is Rosie Huntington-Whiteley going to wear while Romee has her dress?
For May 15’s premiere of Les Miserables, Fanning (in Valentino Haute Couture) chose full-blown Versailles floral, proving the past is very now.
Model Nadine Leopold’s short suit with wafty bits will probably next be seen at the final rose ceremony of next year’s Bachelor in Paradise.
At the Les Miserables screening, Moore was fantastic in a column gown with dramatic embroidered capelet and out-there Chopard earrings.
Amber Heard heard ‘festival’ and thought glam Coachella in a leotard with sheer skirt and couture boho belt.
Spanish model Nieves Alvarez had May 15’s most stunning shoes and most inexplicable pant and skirt mash-up.
Hadid was back at Cannes, looking like a living Oscar statuette in sheer gold top and flamenco skirt (trend alert) for a Dior and Vogue dinner.
Shailene Woodley also went for tiers at the dinner, wearing a chic, sophisticated dress with restrained pumps and lady hair. Game on.