1. Madonna’s striptease wearing Jean Paul Gaultier at the 1991 Cannes Film Festival
Madonna’s long career has been punctuated by scandals, hits, and stunts. In 1991, the star came to the Cannes Film Festival with the excellent documentary In Bed with Madonna and her team. During her alluring entrance on the red carpet, the sultry icon walked towards the movie theater for the screening, draped in a large pink cape, while her fans cheered her. A good girl outfit for a singer who is more used to bold looks. Except that once she reached the top of the steps, she stripped down to a Jean Paul Gaultier bustier with conical breasts, reminiscing the famous corset she wore during her Blond Ambition Tour. The hysteria was at its height back then.
2. Bella Hadid wearing a provocative large slit red dress at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival
Each time Bella Hadid has appeared on the steps of the Cannes Film Festival, she has instantly created a heat wave. Everyone still fondly remembers the model wearing a sublime Gucci vintage white dress and a Versace vintage strapless black dress in 2022. A year earlier, she caused a stir in a black dress with a gold brass lung necklace from the Schiaparelli Fall/Winter 2021 couture collection. She also wore a sculptural black and white vintage dress by Jean Paul Gaultier that same year. In 2019, she shone in Roberto Cavalli’s and Dior’s. Elie Saab’s and Dior’s designs enhanced her silhouette in 2018, while she appeared in Dior and Alexandre Vauthier in 2017. Yet, her most talked-about look was probably her Alexandre Vauthier gown on the red carpet in Cannes in 2016. Although the supermodel later shared her regrets regarding that wardrobe choice, as the sexy aspect of the dress did not suit her character, that ultra-slit red gown has undoubtedly been one of the most provocative dresses in the history of the festival.
3. Kristen Stewart, barefoot and rock’n’roll, on the red carpet of the 2018 Cannes Film Festival
According to the Cannes Film Festival’s traditional official dress code, it has always been strongly recommended for women to appear on the red carpet with an evening gown and a pair of dizzying stilettos. While some celebrities play the game to the full and dared to be extravagant, others would rather feel comfortable and ignore the guidelines. In 2018, the American actress and director Kristen Stewarts made a name for herself when she took off her Louboutin pumps a few minutes only after hitting the red carpet. Can we read a fight against discomfort or a real feminist act? That day, she thumbed her nose at the rules, like the famous American actress and producer Julia Roberts did in 2016. While she was expected at the Palais des Festivals for the screening of Jodie Foster’s film Money Monster, in which she starred alongside George Clooney, the star of Pretty Woman showed up barefoot, with a smile and a simple but sumptuous Armani Privé black dress.
4. Sophie Marceau reveals her breast at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival
Disasters happen so quickly. Some celebrities invited on the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival sometimes find themselves in very uncomfortable situations to show off their sex appeal. Back in 2005, when the sound of cicadas was replaced by the crackling of flashbulbs, Sophie Marceau walked the red carpet to attend the screening of the film Where the Truth Lies by Canadian director Atom Egoyan. Dressed in a white and black dress with an ultra-plunging neckline, the interpreter of Vic Beretton in La Boum (1980), lost control of her outfit for a brief moment and accidentally revealed one of her breasts in front of the photographers. As a result, the press talked about that mishap for months. Recently, Sophie Marceau talked about that moment of extreme solitude in the columns of the Journal du Dimanche. She wisely declared: “That was even before the madness of social media. It was an accident, that’s what makes it so moving. But it happens every day in real life”. Ten years later, in 2015, she inadvertently revealed her panties this time on the red carpet in Cannes.
5. Angelina Jolie, pregnant, with Brad Pitt, as a loving and glamorous couple at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival
Every time they appear on the red carpet, either alone or with their children, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie take the world by storm. At the 2012 Oscar ceremony, the actress’s Versace slit black gown showing off her entire – and sculptural – leg became a meme on the internet. But in 2008, as the couple appeared on the red carpet in Cannes, the excitement was at its height and the flashbulbs of the photographers almost had a stroke. The main reason? Angelina Jolie, pregnant with twins, caused a sensational entrance wearing a green dress with a plunging neckline by Gerard Darel that magnified her baby bump. Other highlights? The heroine of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) was glowing in an Atelier Versace slit dress at Cannes in 2011, embodying the quintessential Hollywood glamour.