When it comes to the annual Cannes Film Festival, high-fashion red carpet moments are just as talked about as the movies Hollywood's best and brightest are there to premiere and promote. And while there are a slew of celebrity "best dressed" red carpet moments to admire throughout the years, sometimes the wackiest Cannes dresses of all time are just as entertaining and memorable.
From the always boundary-pushing Julia Fox to the infamously obscure, avant-garde Björk, even the most fashion-forward celebrity is not above having an ill-fated, red carpet faux pas. Whether a gown is overtly outrageous or just downright odd, the Cannes red carpet always serves as a treasure trove of weird outfit choices and head-scratching ensembles.
To be fair, dressing for a prestigious film festival like Cannes is not easy. As Emilie Legendre, the communication director at Elie Saab—which has helped dress Dita Von Teese, Paz Vega, Rosario Dawson, and more—told Fashionista: "You have to be very calm (when working Cannes). It's a 12-day marathon so if you lose it you'll never make it."
Only a select few will ever have the opportunity to wear high-end fashion brands and walk a glamorous red carpet, but absolutely no one is above a fashion mishap they'd do anything to take back.
Thoughts and prayers to whoever has to sit behind Elena Lenina at Cannes. While attending the Tout S'est Bien Passe (Everything Went Fine) screening during the 74th annual Cannes Film Festival on July 07, 2021, the actress wore a head-turning black and sequence gown and a truly over-the-top hairstyle. Known for her out-of-the-box fashion choices and big hair moments, Lenina is sure to deliver some whacky looks on the red carpet.
Fashionista Deepika Padukone usually slays the red carpet, but she arguably missed the mark with this over-the-top green gown. This voluminous, neon green tulle gown by designer Giambattista Valli was just a little much.
Tilda Swinton is a fashion icon with her gender-bending, androgynous style, but this toned-down two-piece ensemble seemed more appropriate for a quick trip to the corner store than a walk down the red carpet. The baggie shirt and palazzo combo didn't do Swinton any favors, unfortunately, though we'll forever stan this magical land mermaid of the fashion world.
Actress Tina Kunakey certainly turned heads when she walked down the Cannes red carpet in 2021 wearing this oversized purple gown by Valentino. While the look was certainly bold, and featured a Messika Toi & Moi diamond ring and discrete diamond-studded earrings, overall the ensemble was over-the-top glam.
Kirsten Stewart seemed visibly uncomfortable when she walked the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival red carpet to attend a screening of the film Blackkklansman. The usually chic Chanel brand ambassador wore a silver Chanel Couture ensemble that seemed better suited for a girls' night out instead of a prestigious film festival.
Hofit Golan of The Real Housewives of Dubai didn't do herself any favors with this lime green gown, complete with bright blue ruffled accents. Golan wore this in-your-face ensemble while attending the The Old Oak red carpet during the 76th annual Cannes Film Festival in 2023.
Ikram Abdi Omar
Eat your heart out, Tim Burton! British model Ikram Abdi Omar seemed to channel her inner Beetlejuice with this black-and-white striped gown, complete with a truly over-the-top black-and-white hat that will doom whoever is tasked with seating behind her. The red scarf accent is particularly... interesting.
Kate Beckinsale is sure to slay any red carpet she attends, but this coral green gown she wore to the 76th annual Cannes Film Festival raised some eyebrows. The dress was actually made up of a sheer mint beaded jumpsuit wrapped with a taffeta overskirt, and while it was certainly a head-turner
Irina Shayk left very little to the imagination while attending a party hosted by British Vogue and Chopard at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival. Shayk wore a black Gucci lingerie-inspired look, featuring black underwear and a completely sheer dress.
It wouldn't be a Cannes film festival red carpet without Julia Fox and her free-the-nipple, boundary-pushing outfits. While attending The Idol afterparty at the 76th annual Cannes Film Festival, Fox wore a sheer, plastic-looking gown complete with large fluff accents and a deep, dark black lip.
In 2018, Larisa Katz walked the Cannes red carpet in this all-gold gown that was as overwhelming as it was statement-making. The look featured a large gold headpiece and gold accents throughout that, honestly, looked a lot like a certain type of cereal.
Holy roses, Batman! We love a deep red, rose-inspired look as much as the next person, but this Cannes red carpet look from Yseult Onguenet missed the mark with over-the-top 3D roses on either side and a frilly neckline.
Araya Hargate attended the Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny red carpet during the 76th annual Cannes Film Festival in this head-scratcher of an ensemble, complete with a sheer red off-shoulder frock worn over a pair of pink-and-black tights underneath.
Lilly Krug certainly stunned in this Grecian-style white-and-peach maxi dress, complete with breathtaking statement sleeves. However, the front cut-out panels around the bodice look more like the edges of a rug than a show-stopping gown accent. (We're still living. for those sleeves, though.)
It's giving us "burnt cigarette." It's giving us "angry, fire-throwing bride." It's giving us... something, but not necessarily "stunning Cannes red carpet look." Model Rawdah Mohamed attended the 76th annual Cannes Film Festival in a Robert Wun gown covered in what appeared to be burn marks. She completed the avant-garde look with a tattered veil.
Björk is infamous for her questionable fashion statements, and her 2000 Cannes Film Festival red carpet look was certainly no exception. In attendance to promote the film Dancer in the Dark, the Icelandic singer wore a Pepto-Bismol pink tulle dress and just one year before her infamous Oscars swan dress.
Actress and proud mom Sandra Bullock rarely has a fashion faux pas, but she missed the red carpet mark with this 2022 Cannes look. While attending the premiere of the film Murder By Numbers, Bullock wore a floral frock-like gown with strangely-placed cut-outs that did nothing for her figure.
Another fashion Queen who just didn't get it right at Cannes. While promoting the critically acclaimed film Gangs of New York in 2002, Diaz walked the Cannes red carpet in a Versace fishnet dress that seemed to take away from the actress more than it accentuated her features.
Eva Green didn't do herself any favors with this Dior Couture dress at the 2007 Cannes party for The Golden Compass. In addition to the odd frog and floral designs found throughout the gown, the holiday color scheme and weird cloth draping made for an awkward red carpet ensemble.
Actress Catherine Keener arrived at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival alongside Michelle Williams and Samantha Morton, but was Keener's over-the-stop statement sleeves that stopped us in our tracks. The black and white checkered, button-up gown itself was stylish, but the sleeves pushed this ensemble into "whacky" territory, unfortunately.
Actress Julianne Moore is almost always effortlessly chic, but this nearly all-gold gown was a bit of a miss for Moore at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival. The canary-hued Christian Lacroix haute couture dress, complete with bold black shoulder accents, certainly didn't compliment Moore's fair complexion and seemed more stifling than elegant.
A true throwback that nobody asked for. In 1997, model and actress Milla Jovovitc attended the Cannes Film Festival in a barely-there ensemble that seemed to be inspired by her over-the-top The Fifth Element costumes. Turns out, some fashion statements are best kept in space.
Helen Mirren normally knocks it out of the park on the red carpet (especially when she matches her hair color to that of her gown) but this look at the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival gave off more than a peasant wive than it did Hollywood royalty.
Actress and wellness influence Gwyneth Paltrow usually stuns on the red carpet, but this all-black Chanel gown felt flat at the 2008 premiere of Two Lovers when Paltrow decided to pair the look with Pilgrim-buckle shoes that clashed with the overall, Hollywood glam vibe.
Please don't. come for us, internet! We will forever stan the one and only Queen Bee! It's just that, well, this frilly, blue free-flowing House of Deréon maxi dress, designed by her mom, Tina Knowles, didn't seem to do the high fashion moments in Dreamgirls at the film's 2006 Cannes premiere.
Actress Zoe Saldana is always glamorous, but she missed the mark during the 64th annual Cannes Film Festival with this Giorgio Armani gown. Instead of serving us a fierce Hollywood A-Lister ensemble, Saldana looked more like a fancy candy cane.
While we're all for big, billowing gowns and elongated, breathtaking trains, Ashley Graham's light blue ensemble looked more like a pile of bedsheets and covers and less like a Cannes red carpet look.
Frédérique Bel pushed the fashion envelope with this barely-there gown, featuring see-through mesh and strategically placed geometric gold and silver prints. Bel finished the look with a matching choker, but the entire ensemble was a shocking deviation from the French star's more subdued looks.
Olivia Culpo tried to bring back the drop-waist while attending the Asteroid City premiere red carpet during the 76th annual Cannes film festival. Instead, she reminded us all why this look needs to be retired. The couture gown, featuring a cutout black top and a periwinkle blue bottom, elongated Culpo's midsection to the point it looked, well, unnatural.
Karlie Kloss rarely gets it wrong, but in 2016 while attending a screening of Julieta at the 69th annual Cannes Film Festival, the supermodel looked more than a robot than a catwalk superstar.
Julia Restoin Roitfeld
There. are times when red ruffles on a dress really work... and then there are times when they don't. Model Julia Restoin Roitfeld showed us all an example of the latter while attending the premiere of The Unknown Girl at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.
Actress Riley Keough missed the mark with Fenaissance festival-inspired gown. The clashing purple and green give off serious LSU-vibes, while the free-flowing dress does nothing for Keough's figure.
Hey, none of us can get it right 100% of the time!