DUBAI: The Cannes Film Festival rolled out the red carpet for the first time in more than two years on Tuesday, launching the French Riviera spectacular with the premiere of Leos Carax’s “Annette,” the introduction of Spike Lee’s jury, and with high hopes for shrugging off a punishing pandemic year for cinema.
The occasion drew a wide spectrum of film luminaries back to Cannes to celebrate the festival, canceled last year due to the COVID-19 virus. Pedro Almodovar, Jessica Chastain, Helen Mirren and Bella Hadid walked the red carpet, which was again lined with tuxedoed photographers and surrounded by eager onlookers.
Hadid, 24, stepped out in a vintage white Jean Paul Gaultier column gown with a black sheer train and halter-neck for the French festival’s opening ceremony.
She wore her hair up in a bun and accessorized with glittering Chopard jewelry, including white gold earrings with two pear-shaped diamonds.
Meanwhile, French fashion house Celine, which is led by French-Tunisian designer Hedi Slimane, had a big night at the opening ceremony, dressing jury member Maggie Gyllenhaal and French singer Carla Bruni.
Gyllenhaal showed off two looks by Celine on the opening day, including a chic black jumpsuit at a photocall earlier in the day, before she changed into a show-stopping silver gown for the evening’s red carpet.
The dazzling, floor-grazing number featured sharp pleating on the skirt, as well as a mid-length cape secured at the neck.
There was also a smattering of offerings from the Middle East when it came to the show-stopping red carpet gowns, with Melita Toscon du Plantier in a sea green, sequined look by Lebanon’s Elie Saab and Dubai-based influencer Farhana Body showing off a larger-than-life canary yellow ballgown by Omani label Atelier Zuhra.
Other standout fashion moments from the opening night included French star Marion Cotillard in a body-hugging, silver gown by Chanel Haute Couture, featuring a delicate fish scale pattern, as well as Jury President Spike Lee in a hot pink Louis Vuitton suit, which he paired with Nike sneakers.