As Usual, Cate Blanchett and Tilda Swinton Own the Venice Film Festival

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The annual Venice Film Festival is an opportunity for extreme glamor: think big gowns, with plenty of feathers and sequins. This year, the event was much more low-key than usual. There weren’t as many big-name celebs in attendance for starters, and face masks were one of the most common sights on the red carpet.

However, this doesn’t mean it wasn’t still interesting in the style stakes – particularly as Cate Blanchett was in attendance as the jury president, and Tilda Swinton was receiving the lifetime achievement award.

Yes, there were fewer princess gowns and feathered kaftans on the red carpet this year, but what we did see was a masterclass in understated elegance from these two consistently stylish actors. Below, see how Blanchett and Swinton ruled the Venice Film Festival red carpet.

The Monochromes

For one of her more unusual outfits of the festival, Blanchett wore a white Alexander McQueen dress featuring plenty of layered tulle, a sheer skirt, plus gold accents. White tulle can easily feel a bit frothy and princessy, but Blanchett gave the outfit a bit of edge with a black blazer.

Blanchett also brought some eco-friendly fashion to the Venice Film Festival red carpet, by recycling dresses she has already worn. This elegant black gown, with three-quarter sleeves and a deep-V, is by Armani Privé – a brand she models for – and was previously worn during the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. It just goes to show: a classic black dress never goes out of style.

Cate Blanchett - Alexander McQueen- Venice Film Festival Dress
Photo: Courtesy of PA Images

The Sparkles

This shimmering navy gown with white accents and caped sleeves is by Esteban Cortazar, and is yet another dress Blanchett has already worn on the red carpet – to the 2015 premiere of Carol in London.

Cate Blanchet - Esteban Cortazar - Venice Film Festival
Photo: Courtesy of PA Images

Pops of Color

It hasn’t been the most colorful of red carpets in the grand scheme of things, which is why Swinton’s unexpected bright limey-yellow suit is such a breath of fresh air.

Photo: Courtesy of PA Images

The Masks

To pick up her Golden Lion for Career Achievement, Tilda Swinton wore a structured white lace gown from Chanel – the coat style bringing a bit of her signature androgyny to the look. Swinton accessorized with brocade heels and an elaborate gold hand-held mask.

Of course, this mask was more of a fashion statement than pandemic-appropriate. The designer, James T Merry, wrote on Instagram it was “Inspired by stingray skeletons, seaweed, orchids also my favorite fish sculptures on the columns of the Rialto fish market in Venice”.

Tilda Swinton in Chanel - Venice Film Festival
Photo: Courtesy of PA Images
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