Chalk it up to the historic prestige of the top award, the intrigue the international locale affords, or the caliber of celebrity it attracts, but something about the Venice Film Festival feels like a culmination of every award show red carpet wrapped up into one very glamorous, canal-side package. A-listers flock to the Italian city to premiere and promote their latest prestige projects while taking this extremely high-profile opportunity to show off some of the most daring fashion and beauty moments of the year. Since its September 1 kickoff, the 2021 Venice Film Festival looks dominated social media feeds with commentary on the elaborate hairstyles, couture gowns, and statement makeup — and, as anyone who’s taken even a quick scroll through the fanfare can confirm, with good reason.
Some actors, like the ever-polished Jessica Chastain and her trademark fiery hair, are using the festival’s events to perfect their beauty signatures with immaculate makeup and dialed-up versions of their go-to looks. Meanwhile, the chance to debut something totally fresh is taken by others, like the newly blonde Tiffany Haddish and Kristen Stewart. But regardless of how the festival backdrop is used, there’s one major unifier: the looks will be major, and they’ll be constructed, assembled, and perfected by the very best hairstylists and makeup artists in the industry.
Ahead, check out some of the best beauty moments from the 2021 Venice Film Festival — so far, anyway.
Just one of Zendaya’s looks from Venice is practically worthy of its own TED Talk — but all three? A full-scale university lecture series. First, at the Dune photocall in a Valentino Couture deconstructed tuxedo dress, Zendaya’s tousled curls and deep side part worked together for the kind of effortlessness even years of study couldn’t confer.
Her next look, a second skin Balmain leather gown topped with a rust-colored smokey eye and faux-wet finger waves (and an emerald so large, it has its own gravitational pull) is pure vintage glamour. And finally, Zendaya’s lush curls got their full due with a fluffy, defined ringlets moment complete with the chicest set of bangs.
It might just be the ultimate redhead moment: the trifecta of Jessica Chastain’s bright copper hair, Versace scarlet crystal-studded gown, and matching lip color is an arresting combination — narrowly beating out her other incredible Venice hairstyle of full-bodied waves and eye-skimming bangs.
With a deep smokey eye courtesy of celebrity makeup artist Mary Greenwell (she revealed Armani Lip Powder in #302 Energetic as Chastain’s standout shade), it’s no wonder even her costars are entirely bewitched.
Impossibly glossy platinum locks, sky-high lashes, and one seriously radiant glow were just a handful of the high points on Anya Taylor-Joy’s Barbie-pink Dior look — oh, and that hat. While Georgie Eisdell headed up Taylor-Joy’s immaculate makeup, star hairstylist Jenny Cho worked on the visibly soft waves cascading down to the actor’s waist.
From the moment promotional photos hit the internet, it was clear that Kristen Stewart was born to play Princess Diana in the highly-anticipated, upcoming biopic Spencer — and it sure seems like Stewart agrees if her now-permanent blonde hair is any indication. The new shade of blonde, almost Dreamsicle-toned in certain lights, is the expert work of Stewart’s longtime hair collaborator and close friend, Adir Abergel. On the red carpet, the fresh cut and buttery color warms Stewart’s complexion while her eye makeup — shimmery, smokey, and artfully smudged — is classic Stewart.
The ease with which Tiffany Haddish vacillated from summery-chic to Old Hollywood elegance with one hair change should be regarded as a superpower — she really is in a league of her own.
For the premiere of The Card Counter, Haddish’s close-cropped platinum pixie lets all eyes focus on her forest of lashes, highlight-dusted cheekbones, and one of the best uses of lip gloss all summer. The award-winning Ernesto Casillas is responsible for the resplendent makeup while the megawatt smile is all Haddish.