What’s Up With The “Dress Code” At Cannes?

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The red carpet at Cannes is making headlines among the fashion set today, though perhaps not for the reasons you’d expect. Rather than attracting attention solely for the slew of glamorous gowns spotted at the various premieres, the film festival’s dress code as a whole seems to be up for debate in light of recent events.

Following yesterday’s screening of Carol, reports surfaced that women were turned away for wearing flats. Apparently it is “obligatory for all women to wear high heels” in order to walk the carpet for these premieres, which poses several points of contention from a decidedly feminist perspective, but also remains a discriminatory policy against attendees with certain disabilities.

Amidst this heels controversy, Kendall Jenner stepped out for the Youth premiere wearing a belly-baring ensemble by Azzedine Alaïa. As the film festival is certainly renowned for its high-fashion, designer-laden carpet, this look in particular feels questionable—while some may regard her choice as daring yet glamorous, it may come across as disrespectful and garish to others.

Which begs the bigger question—what is, or should be, the dress code at a black-tie event of this caliber? If flats are considered offensive at Cannes, should an exposed belly button also be up for debate? If we’re leaning in any direction on the matter, it’s one in support of simply allowing people to express themselves through clothing, where they are given the choice to make the final judgement call on their ensemble.

Tell us what you think—share your thoughts on red carpet etiquette with us on social media at @thezoereport.