The Most Memorable Outfits in Venice Film Festival History

Lady Gaga Venice Film Festival 2018
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Red carpet events have been few and far between this year, but this could be about to change as the Venice International Film Festival kicks off.

Organizers say it’s the first major event of its kind since so many were shut down by the pandemic. The festival will be as star-studded as we’re used to, with Cate Blanchett presiding over the jury, Tilda Swinton set to receive a lifetime achievement award, and actors like Helen Mirren and Shia LaBeouf premiering films at the event.

There will, of course, be changes to the festival this year. Guests will have their temperatures checked, people will be expected to wear masks, and organizers have added two outdoor screens to show films.

Even if social distancing rules are in place, we’re still hopefully going to get some major red carpet moments. Venice Film Festival has a reputation for pulling out all the stops in the fashion stakes. These are just some of the most memorable outfits from its history…

1

Salma Hayek in 2002

For the premiere of Frida – the biopic in which Salma Hayek plays Mexican artist Frida Kahlo – Hayek wore an LBD, but it wasn’t your classic black dress. Instead, she turned heads in a see-through lace number with long sleeves and not much underneath.

VENICE, ITALY - AUGUST 29: Mexican actress Salma Hayek attends the opening ceremony of the 59th Venice Film Festival August 29, 2002 in Venice, Italy. The annual film festival, which runs for 10 days, is one of the oldest and most prestigious cinema events in Europe. It traditionally showcases non-Hollywood films. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images
2

Kate Hudson in 2003

Showing pregnancy dressing doesn’t have to be boring, in 2003 Kate Hudson wore a silver beaded two-piece from Chanel. The intricate outfit featured a crop top showing off her stomach, and a knee-length skirt with sheer overlay. It was slinky and a whole lot sexier a look than we were used to seeing pregnant women wear on the red carpet.

VENICE, ITALY - AUGUST 31: Actress Kate Hudson arrives at the screening of the James Ivory film "Le Divorce" at the 60th Venice Film Festival August 31, 2003 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images
3

Nicole Kidman in 2004

On first glance, Nicole Kidman’s Gucci dress looks classic and simple – but it’s far from that. Upon closer inspection, you can see the level of detail on the silver strapless dress; a shimmery rose pattern and feather-like detailing along the bottom. And it gave the actor an opportunity to wear that gorgeous diamond necklace.

VENICE, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 8: Actress Nicole Kidman attends the "Birth" Premiere at the 61st Venice Film Festival on September 8, 2004 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images
4

Helen Mirren in 2006

You don’t often see celebrities having an awful lot of fun on the red carpet, but Helen Mirren is an exception. She bucked the trend for full-length gowns in 2006, opting to wear this ankle-grazing cobalt blue dress instead – which she showed off by twirling.

Helen Mirren venice film festival in 2006
Photo: Courtesy of PA
5

Anne Hathaway in 2008

From one angle, Anne Hathaway’s dove grey dress looks pretty classic: strapless, and with plenty of ruffles around the skirt. However, when she turned, you could see how unusual the outfit is, as the dress is raised on one side. We’re used to mullet dresses – where the skirt is short at the front and long at the back – but this was a new interpretation of the style.

Anne Hathaway Venice Film Festival in 2008
Photo: Courtesy of PA
6

Jennifer Lawrence in 2017

As the face of Dior, Jennifer Lawrence often wears gowns from the French fashion house – but this is one of our favorites. For the premiere of Mother!, Lawrence went full princess in a ballerina-style gown with a nude bodice and black tulle overlay.

VENICE, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 05: Jennifer Lawrence attends the Gala Screening and World Premiere of 'mother!' during the 74th Venice Film Festival at Sala Grande on September 5, 2017 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures)
Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images
7

Tilda Swinton in 2018

Tilda Swinton can always be relied upon for knock-out looks, made even more impressive when you learn she mainly styles herself. In 2018 Swinton was promoting Suspiria, and did so wearing plenty of Haider Ackermann – a designer who often makes special, androgynous outfits for the actor. The severe ruffles of the high neckline were offset by a feminine, flowing midi-skirt, but what we like best about this outfit is how it reminds us of a mustard dress Swinton wore to the festival back in 2008.

VENICE, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 01: Tilda Swinton attends 'Suspiria' photocall during the 75th Venice Film Festival at Sala Casino on September 1, 2018 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images)
Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images
8

Lady Gaga in 2018

Lady Gaga had plenty of huge fashion moments during the 2018 press tour for A Star Is Born, but few were as memorable as her turn on the Venice red carpet. Wearing a pink feathered gown from Valentino, Gaga showed us how OTT dresses could still feel classic and elegant.

Lady Gaga Venice Film Festival 2018
Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images
9

Iman in 2019

In recent years, Valentino has proved the go-to fashion house if you want to make a statement at the Venice Film Festival. Last year supermodel Iman stole the show in a kaftan-style dress with bird pattern and plenty of feathers.

Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images
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