The storied Venice Film Festival has returned, which means stars are descending on the watery city to promote their upcoming movies, and peacock their fashion prowess.
As the world’s longest running film festival, Venice tends to attract the great and good of the silver screen. And this year, its 79th edition, has proven to be no exception.
Adam Driver and Greta Gerwig kicked things off with the showing of their new movie White Noise, directed by Noah Baumbach at the opening last Wednesday night, before the couture gowns and crisp suits began picking up the pace – and will continue to do so until it’s conclusion on 10 September.
The focus is technically the films, but in reality the festival is as much a celebration of fashion as it is cinema, as celebrities ditch their holiday clobber and amp up the good old Hollywood glamour.
British actress Jodie Turner-Smith has so far been giving lessons in how it’s done. She arrived at Venice airport wearing a knockout sheer ombre pink and yellow Casablanca suit before hitting the warm up cocktail in a blue fringed Raisa Vanessa mini dress.
The Gucci ambassador has since served two absolutely stellar looks from Alessandro Michele’s archive: the first, a sheer pink Gucci dress paired with white thigh-high boots, pale blue opera gloves and tiny sunnies; and the second, her evening look, a dramatic black plunge-front black sequinned gown with red hem paired with apple green satin opera gloves and diamond and emerald bling. On Sunday night, the star proved an eye for niche talent too, wearing a custom, blue frock by smaller label Harbison. A two-toned sequin bandeau and flowing silk satin train made sure she turned head for the premiere of the The Whale.
Tessa Thompson has also convincingly proved that film festival red carpets needn’t mean princess gowns. The American actress hopped off her water taxi wearing a sheer Victoria Beckham dress over pinstripe trousers before changing into a futuristic sculptural Armani Privé look that she paired with itty bitty specs and Pomellato jewellery. But it was the second night where she really shut down the red carpet, as she arrived for the premiere of Alejandro González Iñárritu’s latest epic wearing a spectacular hooded red mini dress with flowing train from the Elie Saab AW22 couture collection, which she paired with matching red tights, red pumps and a boxy red clutch bag.
One man who made sure to have his moment was Timothée Chalamet, who succeeded in flooding social media last Friday night with his silky red halter neck top and matching trousers by Haider Ackermann. He was joined on the carpet promoting Luca Guadagnino’s Bones and All with Taylor Russell, who showed off a spectacular silhouette in a new Balenciaga couture gown first modelled by Bella Hadid in July.
On Sunday, Harry Styles and girlfriend Olivia Wilde arrived in town - separately - for the premiere of the much-anticipated Don’t Worry Darling, a movie directed by Wilde in which Styles plays the lead alongside Florence Pugh. Styles arrived at Venice airport wearing a plum-coloured Gucci blazer with his signature seventies flares, oversized shades and matching Gucci luggage.
The 28-year-old Watermelon Sugar hitmaker arrived for Monday morning’s photocall for Don’t Worry Darling looking effortlessly cool in a cream pinstriped blazer, white vest, navy tailored trousers and a loosely-tied silk scarf. Wilde attended wearing a green boucle cropped jacket and midi skirt coord which she paired with black slouchy knee-high boots.
But it was Monday night when the A-list cast of Wilde’s psycological thriller made their mark on Venice. Changing out of their casual-chic daytime styles, both Styles and Wilde opted for statement Gucci looks. The singer was minimal but eye catching in a padded shoulder, navy suit with extended collar and a manicure, while Wilde committed to all-out-luxe in her huge, custom yellow gown trimmed with feathers and embellished with sparkling silver chains.
Also turning heads at the pinnacle event of the festival so far was Pugh, who opted for a sheer Valentino couture look which incorporated a body suit and flowing, spotted train. She wore it with dramatic, feathered stilettos as she posed with co-stars Gemma Chan, who was dazzling in a silver sequin Louis Vuitton column dress, and Sydney Chandler, who wore a slim fit classic black Saint Laurent gown dressed up with chunky bangles.
Julianne Moore took to another carpet on Monday evening, namely for the Japanese-French drama Love Life. She chose an asymmetric silver sequin dress by Celine, which came loose fitted and sliced across the front. The red haired actress has taken on the role as president of the International Jury of the Competition this year, which will see her lead decision making on who will take home the Golden Lion for Best Film award.
Sporting a new bleached trim with highlighter-yellow tips was Tilda Swinton, who on Tuesday was in Northern Italy to promote her new film ‘The Eternal Daughter’, the Joanna Hogg-directed mystery drama which was filmed in secret in Wales during lockdown.
The hair-do, according to Variety, is a nod to Ukraine as she told a reporter: “It’s my honour to wear half of the Ukrainian flag.” She chose a lilac, sequin-beaded gown by designer Haider Ackermann, who was also present and slick-suited on the carpet. Penelope Cruz joined them, and picked out a black frock with intricately constructed floral skirt from Chanel’s AW22 couture collection.
Off the carpet and to the ball, the AmfAR charity fundraiser for AIDS pulled in a suitably glamorous crowd led by Jodie Turner-Smith in a yellow corset and voluminous rainbow skirt designed by Christopher John Rogers. Ellie Goulding also made an entrance in a metallic slip dress, before slipping into a sparkling mesh mini to perform.
Scroll the gallery above for all of the best looks so far.