Style Tips From the Cannes Film Festival

The Cannes Film Festival boasts a ultra-glamourous red carpet where the ball gowns can be intimidatingly voluminous and the jewels adorning the A-list crowd can be blinding. This prestigious film festival—celebrating its 70th anniversary this year—has always had this rarified and outrageous fashion distinction.

So you might think this is the last place the average person might find a fashion tip that they can actually use. But as the festival winds down this weekend, we delved beyond the tiers of ruffles, turned a blind eye to the sparkling sequins and looked beyond the exposed flesh for some useful style tricks.  We culled a few inspiration points—mostly from the Zoomer-aged celebrities in attendance—that you can easily implement in your wardrobe.

Scroll through our slide show below for a few style tips from the over-45 year old actresses at the Cannes Film Festival.


Despite its luxurious appeal, leather rarely ever makes it onto red carpet events. But the actress for the Loveless (Nelyubow) premiere, showed that a floor length black leather skirt can make for a glamorous and utterly chic look for evening wear. The key here is to ensure the leather is of the most supple variety—soft enough to drape and hang elegantly and not stiff like the hard-working hides used for rugged motorcycle jackets. She also created a  le smoking look by pairing the leather skirt with a formal tuxedo jacket and white shirt for an alternative and downright sexy take to black-tie attire.


Again, here leather makes a surprise appearance on one of the world’s most glamorous red carpets. Thurman for her appearance at the premiere of Loveless (Nelyubow), opted for a cropped and snug biker style leather jacket and paired the tough-looking topper with the most feminine of evening skirts; pale pink, floor length and with a train. It made for a modern and dynamic take gala attire.

To pull this off successfully, keep in mind you have to play up the hard and soft dynamic. The leather jacket must be paired with something softer and more feminine.


At the Okja photocall, the British actress was a masterclass study on what constitutes the perfect suit. You want it to be quietly commanding? Pare back or hide the details and notions. It’s streamlined to the point where buttons and closures are hidden and no pockets or flaps or lapels to ruin the spare look. You want it be strikingly stylish? Sure, you could pick black but it could look too severe. But a choice colour like pistachio and you light up a room when you enter. You want it to be timeless? Go for the below-the-knee length on the skirt.  It’s classic and eternally lady-like.


It’s tempting to match your handbag with your shoes but think beyond just co-ordinating your accessories. For the screening of The Meyerowitz Stories, Emma Thompson punched things up with a canary yellow jacket and a pair of shoes with a block heel in a matching colour. It was an artful touch to an otherwise simple outfit.


If you think a bohemian style gown with an over-sized floral print in wild psychedelic colours is perhaps best left for the Gigi Hadids of the world to wear—or least not by someone who actually lived through the hippie era—think again. The French actress Isabelle Huppert wore such a multi-layered chiffon gown for the Happy End photocall. But what made it look contemporary and not a costume was her utter lack of accessories. It might have been tempting to add a piece of boho jewelry but such an eye-catching printed dress deserved to bask in the sunlight unembellished.


When a new dress just doesn’t cut it or is inspiring enough for a big event, why not new fun hair? Actress Salma Hayek did just that for the Women in Motion Awards Dinner at the Cannes Film Festival, when she don a fun wig in a candy floss pink shade. Don’t stress about a new dress, just get a wig for a new look without the commitment. If you do go the fun colour route, style it in an elegant old school Hollywood way and match it to a colour in your outfit.