Cannes Vacation Style Is A Thing — Here Are The Best Examples

Need a yacht party invite, ASAP.

REPORTERS ASSOCIES/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images
jane birkin cannes style

Cannes Film Festival never ceases to produce endless amounts of fashion inspiration, but if you’ve only been checking out the red carpet looks, you’re probably missing out. Because Cannes is located right on the French Riviera, stars often need to travel by boat — which provides the opportunity for a whole different set of vacation ensembles. Though nonetheless chic, these off-duty Cannes looks tend to be somewhat more casual: Think crochet sets, micro mini floral dresses, and relaxed linen suits. Whether or not you’ve actually got a yacht party to go to or a boat trip to take, there’s plenty of style inspiration for a variety of outdoor occasions when you look back through the film festival’s history and its most fashionable attendees.

Cannes has always been a who’s who of stylish stars, from supermodels to socialites, and of course actors promoting their latest projects. For them, fashion is just as ubiquitous at the event as film, and they’ll take every opportunity to turn a look — including their street (or in this case boat) style. Some of the best examples from Cannes past and present capture the effortless yet glamorous vibe that’s synonymous with the south of France. And year after year there are a few that have that perfect combination down to a science. Cannes’ biggest style stars include Bella Hadid, Naomi Campbell, Uma Thurman, and of course Jane Birkin. But that list is quickly growing, as evidenced by some looks from this season’s festivities.

Ready to set sail? Ahead find all the boat style inspo you could ever need, based on some of Cannes’ most iconic off-carpet outfits, including many from decades ago that feel just as fresh in the present day.

Grace Kelly, 1955

Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone/Getty Images

In cigarette pants and a white button down, Kelly just might be the gold standard of chic boating outfits for all time.

Brigitte Bardot, 1956

George W. Hales/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Bardot brought so many bombshell looks to Cannes, including this corseted black dress.

Jane Birkin, 1968

Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone/Getty Images

Sporting a mini babydoll dress and her signature basket purse, Birkin’s 1968 look is just as relevant in 2024.

Glenda Jackson and Faye Dunaway, 1976

Daniel SIMON/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images

With their flowing maxi and relaxed skirt suit, Jackson and Dunaway are great references for boat looks that are dressed up yet effortless.

Amanda Lear, 1979

Daniel SIMON/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images

The French singer’s sequin tube top and white skirt suit with maximalist jewelry is still a style to aspire to (whether on or off a boat).

Diana, Princess of Wales, 1987

Anwar Hussein/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Princess Diana’s ethereal blue gown at the 1987 festivities is always listed as a Cannes favorite, but her off-duty look in navy, white, and gold is a classically nautical combination.

Laura Dern, 1990

Alexis DUCLOS/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images

Dern’s bra top with billowing blouse and pants perfectly mixed multiple black and white patterns.

Uma Thurman, 1993

Pool ARNAL/GARCIA/PICOT/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images

Flat, strappy sandals and a breezy shirt dress? Thurman’s ‘93 Cannes look is boat style perfection.

Naomi Campbell, 1998

Pool BENAINOUS/DUCLOS/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images

Campbell’s silky set with slits and ties would be chic and comfortable for a boat ride.

Kendall Jenner, 2017

J. Almasi/GC Images/Getty Images

When it comes to boat style, you can never go wrong with nautical stripes, as Jenner proved with her cropped top look in 2017.

Bella Hadid, 2017

Pierre Suu/GC Images/Getty Images

Hadid’s white crochet set and sneakers from Cannes 2017 will be coveted for years to come.

Elle Fanning, 2023

Jacopo Raule/GC Images/Getty Images

Fanning’s slouchy trousers and striped button down paired with oversized shades and black leather tote is the epitome of laid-back luxury.

Meryl Streep, 2024

Mondadori Portfolio/Mondadori Portfolio/Getty Images

Streep’s white Michael Kors suit and Panama hat was instantly iconic in terms of Cannes off-duty looks.