Celebrities are fully embracing the fact they get to wear poofy dresses, cutout gowns, and thousands of dollars worth of jewelry again on red carpets. After all, they sat through a year of canceled events (or ones hosted virtually with a more laid-back dress code), and now is the time to re-emerge in the boldest of looks. Ahead of award season, stars are flexing their style prowess at the 78th Venice International Film Festival. The fashion looks were beyond breathtaking, especially with the Venetian backdrops. (Celebrities were brought to the Palazzo del Cinema in a water taxi that sailed through the romantic city of Venice.) On the red carpet, there were your iconic black Hollywood gowns with splashes of kaleidoscopic lime green and red ensembles.
The festival, which began on Sept. 1 and ends Sept. 11, kicked off with its first main event: the premiere of Spanish film director Pedro Almodóvar’s movie Madres Paralelas. Penélope Cruz was one of the first celebrity arrivals on the red carpet. On opening night, she wore a captivating black and white gown from Chanel and showcased other timeless styles from the fashion house. Later in the week, Kristen Stewart channeled Princess Diana in both of her Chanel couture looks. To top it off, Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck made their red carpet debut since reuniting as a couple.
Ahead, see all the best looks from the Venice Film Festival red carpet.
Kate Hudson attended the Celebration of Women in Cinema Gala in one of the most striking outfits at the Venice Film Festival. She wore a daring black halter-neck dress from Mônot, that had ultra-thin straps and featured a thigh-high split with nine intricate cutouts in the front.
Jennifer Lopez & Ben Affleck
Bennifer fans mark this moment. Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck made their red carpet debut as a couple at the Venice Film Festival. Lopez wore a stunning white plunging neckline dress by Georges Hobeika. It had a thigh-high split, ruffled skirt, and a bejeweled neckline.
Cynthia Erivo graced the red carpet in a colorful Valentino Haute Couture number. The feathery dress was playful and bold for the festivities. She accessorized with a diamond necklace by Roberto Coin, a thin bracelet, an oval-shaped ring, and heels.
Hailee Steinfeld appeared on the red carpet in a plunging V-neck Armani Privé gown. The dress had a thigh-high slit with little cutouts in the middle.
Penélope Cruz wore an elegant Chanel ensemble consisting of a white one-shoulder dress, clutch, and dangly pearl earrings.
Zendaya stepped out of the water taxi in a polished black suit jacket with a white dress that had a plunging V-neckline. She wore black heels and for a pop of color tied a baby pink satin belt along her waistline.
Tiffany Haddish was ready to enjoy the Venice Film Festival events in her coral-colored Christopher John Rogers’ number and vibrant green heels from Le Silla. She wore two statement pieces of jewelry: a pastel green and yellow-tinted necklace and ring from Pomellato.
Dakota Johnson looked like a Greek goddess in her Gucci cap-sleeved, V-neck gown. The dress had Rosaline crystals shimmering over a nude tulle underlay. Crystal fringe draped down from the shoulders and waistline of the dress. She wore rose gold heels to complete the outfit.
Kristen Stewart went for a strawberry blonde hair color at the film festival as opposed to the starker blonde color she wore in her upcoming film Spencer. As an ambassador for Chanel, Stewart dressed in a two-piece pastel mint green silk tunic set from the fashion house. She paired the sleepwear-inspired look with a silver-studded choker and ring.
Anya Taylor-Joy wore a Barbie-pink, head-to-toe Dior Haute Couture ensemble for the premiere of her film Last Night In Soho. The whole outfit (hair included) gave off Legally Blonde vibes. For a bit of dazzle, she went with glistening jewels from Tiffany & Co.
Jessica Chastain, who stars in It wore an all-red ensemble. She had on a scarlet-hued Valentino dress and matching sparkly heels. A red lip completed the fiery ensemble.
Zendaya wore a figure-hugging wet-look dress with a thigh-high split from Balmain, and nude heels for the premiere of her upcoming film Dune. The dress was made out of leather and the fashion house had crafted the dress with an exact model of the actor’s bust. For color, she wore Bvlgari’s 93-carat Hypnotic Emerald green necklace, which required 1,800 hours to complete, and a matching ring.
Sharon Duncan-Brewster had a similar idea for emerald hues and jewelry as her Dune costar Zendaya. The actor wore a green off-the-shoulder gown with ruched detailing on the bodice. She had on emerald green drop earrings and a ring from Chopard’s Haute Joiallerie collection.
By now it’s safe to say that Anya Taylor-Joy adores her color scheme ensembles. Instead of her radiant pink Dior outfit, the actor went for a joyful orange hue with a frilly A-line mini dress and flat sandals with a bow.
Kristen Stewart wore a black tweed jumpsuit from Chanel’s Métiers d’Art 2020/2021 collection and black pumps for the Spencer photo-call. The actor paid homage to Princess Diana’s favorite brand. (One of her most iconic Chanel outfits was her powder blue tweed skirt suit with silver double-c buttons.) Stewart wore a similar black version with gold double-c buttons and shorts instead of a skirt.
Adriana Lima continued the trend of stars wearing figure-hugging cutout dresses at the Venice Film Festival. This time, she wore a gold halter-neck piece with fringed detailing from the waist down.
Kate Hudson wore a dreamy yet bold sheer gown from Valentino’s Resort 2022 collection. Her high-neck dress had a delicate tiered tulle skirt and puff sleeves.
Cynthia Erivo wore an avant-garde piece from Schiaparelli’s Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2021/2022 collection. The dress had a black wool crepe with a yellow silk belt wrapped around her waist. The most striking detail was her metallic bubble top, which resembled (chic) tinfoil.
Kirsten Dunst cascaded down the red carpet in a sheer Armani Privé black gown that oozed Hollywood glamour. She kept the accessories simple with a pair of dangly gold earrings.
Penélope Cruz wore a Chanel Haute Couture gown on the red carpet. The black and white dress featured a fitted bodice and a skirt that flared out in a Disney princess-inspired way.
Cynthia Erivo, one of the judges at this year’s festival, wore a sparkling cutout V-neck gown by Versace. Her sky-high platform stilettos peeked out from underneath her thigh-high slit dress.
Model Adriana Lima wore a strapless, sequined cherry red Etro dress. For accessories, she kept it minimal with earrings and two bracelets — both from Pomellato.
Barbara Palvin wore a sculptural, edgy black number from Giorgio Armani Privé’s 2018 Haute Couture collection.
Director Chloé Zhao’s is having quite the year. Not only did she win an Oscar for Best Director of Nomadland, but she is also a judge at the film festival. For the red carpet, Zhao looked graceful in a floral gown. Given that she tends to keep her red carpet looks on the more casual end (when she accepted her Oscar, she wore white sneakers), Zhao wore a gray Fjällräven Kanken backpack instead of carrying your usual clutch.
French actor Isabelle Huppert gave an ode to old-school Hollywood vibes with her loose waves and gold vintage Armani Privé gown, which was from the fashion house’s Fall 2005 Haute Couture collection. Huppert styled the look with Cartier’s matching 18k yellow gold and 18k white gold vintage necklace and bracelet set.
Sara Sampaio wore a black dress from Giorgio Armani’s Privé. The halter-neck style was crafted out of velvet and featured beading along the neckline.
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