Generally speaking, you can’t just expect a string of animated films and a weird scandal or two at the Cannes Film Festival each year; Plus, to the delight of the internet’s Greek Choir, you can count on Hollywood’s best-equipped women to dress their best.
Last year, Armani Privé was the undisputed Anne Hathaway, who emerged as the tailoring queen of Cannes in a beaded Gucci mini dress and pink Valentino jumpsuit. The actress looked gorgeous while wearing Atelier Versace at the Bulgari Mediterranea High Jewelry event in Venice this year too.
But the new winner of Cannes 2023 is another of our most spellbinding brunette stars: Natalie Portman, who walked the red carpet to promote. May Decemberthe equally iconic Todd Haynes movie starring Julianne Moore.
The Haynes film received rave reviews and proved equally notable at the festival, when Portman told reporters at a press conference: May DecemberLike Cannes itself, it examines “the different roles we play in different settings”.
“Even here, we women are expected to behave differently than men at this festival…how we should look, how we should carry ourselves.” said portman. “Expectations from you are always different. It affects how you act, whether you accept it or do something in between. You are defined by the social structures above you.”
At Cannes there is an unwritten but generally adhered to rule that women must wear heels on the red carpet, which may be what Portman was referring to at a glance. Some, like Kristen Stewart, have played by this rule in the past: Sure, she wore heels on the Cannes red carpet in 2018—just before she slipped her feet to go up the stairs.
Portman’s tailoring choices represented the pinnacle of old Hollywood womanhood, as she cunningly articulated the different expectations placed upon her as a woman at Cannes.
Portman once rose to prominence by faithfully and magnificently recreating Christian Dior’s 1949 Junon dress. The ombré leaves and clean lines of the dress, named after the queen of the gods in Greek mythology, suit the petite actress perfectly.
Also, like Hathaway last year, the fact that Portman wasn’t really seen on the red carpet in a series of big appearances some time before Cannes helps prepare her for massive social media impact.
She was just as glamorous in that sparkly, belted dress. midnight blue column dress, also by Dior. But perhaps the best Dior look came in the casual form styled by Ryan Hastings. It takes courage to not be complacent about your daytime looks in Cannes, and taking risks can backfire wildly. For example, a pastel, rather meticulous Chanel Resort 2024 ensemble chosen by Marion Cotillard this year, to be panned.
As for Portman, she went with a fire engine red Dior suit for her daytime look and kept the elements super simple: A-cut dress with a little red belt, red jacket that slung over her shoulders, red strappy sandals, black cat-eye sunglasses. It’s such a classic, flawless look that it almost feels illegal.
Jackie Kennedy Onassis, whom Portman once played on the big screen, would certainly approve.