Venice Film Festival: The best looks from the red carpet over the years

From Jennifer Lopez's hourglass gown to Timothee Chalamet's daring backless ensemble, here's how stars have sparkled over the years

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Venice Film Festival begins on Wednesday as the curtain-raiser for the awards season.

The event is known for delivering high-octane glamour, with A-list celebrities pouring into the elegant city to show off their latest films. Big-name designers, from Chanel to Gucci to Versace, trip off the tongue when describing the red carpet looks.

This year may be something of an outlier, however, with the ongoing Hollywood strike meaning it is not entirely clear how those promoting American films will handle things.

Will there be the usual red carpet events? Will it be akin to the Golden Globes in 2018 when stars dressed all in black in support of the #MeToo movement? Or, given this event is in Europe, not America, will it be business as usual? Only time will tell.

One thing we do know, however, is that the festival has produced some spectacular red carpet moments in recent years, from Jennifer Lopez's 2021 hourglass Georges Hobeika gown to Lady Gaga bringing some old-school glamour in ethereal pink Valentino in 2018.

Then there is human rights lawyer (and wife of George Clooney) Amal Clooney, who never puts a sartorial foot wrong and looked stunning in lilac Versace in 2017, merely months after giving birth to twins.

Actresses Tessa Thompson and Jodie Turner-Smith dominated the red carpet last year, with the former wearing a hooded, caped mini gown by Elie Saab, and the latter sporting a multicoloured striped gown by Christopher John Rogers.

Cate Blanchett – who is a regular on best-dressed lists – has a knack for looking elegant and effortless at Venice, either in her long-standing go-to Armani Prive haute couture or something more avant-garde like Schiaparelli.

Zendaya, too, is accomplished at red carpet dressing, from wearing custom-made Balmain that looked like wet leather moulded onto her body or in artfully undone Valentino haute couture.

While it is normally the women who hog the limelight at film festivals, it is impossible to mention Venice without giving an honourable mention to Timothee Chalamet. With a deep sense of playfulness in his choices, he favours slim-cut suits and co-ord sets by Alexander McQueen or Haider Ackermann.

Chalamet hit a zenith last year when he arrived in red trousers with a matching backless, halter-neck top. Not many men can pull it off, but Chalamet made it look effortless and good fun all at once.

Updated: August 30, 2023, 12:30 PM