This week marks the start of the 80th annual Venice Film Festival, a time when the ancient, canal-filled city comes alive with film premieres and well-dressed bigwigs sauntering across the red carpet. Alongside Cannes Film Festival, Venice Film Festival is one of the most significant filmic events in the world, an exhibition of the most prominent, original and anticipated new works from auteurs and amateurs alike.
First held in 1932 as the Esposizione d’Arte Cinematografica, it is also one of the oldest film festival events, its glamorous history having hosted the likes of Brigitte Bardot, Elizabeth Taylor and Sophia Loren. Even the Duke and Duchess of Windsor attended in 1956.
To mark the beginning of its 80th iteration, we thought we would run you through the most iconic red carpet moments to have graced the festival over the last few decades. From memorable moments like Kate Hudson's baby bump-revealing Chanel two-piece set in 2003, to Florence Pugh's infamous arrival for the premiere of Don't Worry Darling in Valentino just last year. Find them, below.
Lily-Rose Depp (2019)
Depp donned this lilac, floor-sweeping Chanel gown for the premier of Netflix's The King back in 2019. Complemented by a matching shawl, and paired with a simple, strappy silver heel, Depp looked every bit as regal as her on-screen counterpart.
Dakota Johnson (2021)
In true form, Johnson donned Gucci for the Venice Film Festival carpet in 2021, a choice that should surprise none given her ambassador status with the House. This sheer, dripping silver number brought roaring 20s Hollywood glamour, befitting of the Johnson namesake.
Never one to shy from a daring look, Madonna served up Vionnet while in Venice for her directorial debut film, W.E. The pale blue frock was adorned by red butterfly motifs, matched of course with an equally cherry-red pair of shoes and Miu Miu sunglasses.
Timothée Chalamet (2022)
Chalamet has become a style icon in his own right, and likes to push the boundaries of mens silhouettes on the carpet. Tapping his friend, designer Haider Ackermann, to design yet another custom look for his Bones and All premiere, this red vest and trouser combination dropped jaws for its halter silhouette and exposed back.
Zendaya loves keep with a theme when it comes to promoting her films, and while on the press tour for Dune, she donned this stunning nude, wet-look Balmain gown and matching heel. A very fitting look for the sand-swept locus of the film.
Lady Gaga (2018)
Gaga was a fairytale come to life wearing this pink, feathered Valentino gown in 2018 in support of her film with Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born. Honestly, we expect nothing less from the patron saint of red carpet grand entrances.
Chloë Sevigny (2018)
Style muse and actress Chloë Sevigny has had many a killer Venice Film Festival look, but we particularly love this memorable moment she had in Chanel Haute Couture while attending the L’Année dernière à Marienbad screening.
Scarlett Johansson (2013)
At the 70th annual Venice Film Festival, Johansson donned this figure-hugging black Versace gown for the Under The Skin premiere, which the actress paired with Bulgari jewellery and Roger Vivier shoes.
Mia Goth (2022)
Florence Pugh (2022)
Everyone remembers where they were when Florence Pugh made her last-minute arrival on the carpet of Venice Film Festival last year to show face as the star of Don't Worry Darling, a film perhaps best known for the cloud of controversy that seemed to follow it. In Valentino, no less, the House ambassador was a vision in this puff-sleeved top with train, and feathered heels – enough to make Chris Pine snap a few photos on his disposable film camera for good measure.
Sadie Sink (2022)
As if to prove her graduation from child actor in beloved Stranger Things to bonafide movie star, Sadie Sink donned this Alexander McQueen gown, featuring a metallic cutout bodice and drop-waist tiered lilac skirt.
Liya Kebede (2014)
Model Liya Kebede joined designer Alberta Ferretti at the international premiere of Birdman in this black organza mock-feathered bodice and tulle skirt.
Emma Stone (2016)
Stone showed up to the 2016 Venice Film Festival in this sparkling soft green Versace dress for the premiere of La La Land. The custom Atelier Versace gown featured a high-neckline and cascading fringing, a nod perhaps to the showgirls and Hollywood starlets that influenced the film.
Zoë Kravitz (2014)
This fire-red Armani Privé dress from the House's Fall 2014 couture collection was a memorable moment from Zoë Kravitz, who attended the festival in support of her film Good Kill alongside January Jones.
Kate Hudson (2003)
Hudson put her baby bump on full display in this two-piece set from Chanel. Given the year was 2003, the look was practically dripping in Y2K codes we've seen come back in style again recently.
Madisin Rian (2021)
The face of Giorgio Armani Beauty, Madisin Rian, donned this gorgeous gown from the House's Fall 2010 collection, which was adorned in a plethora of beads and embellishments.
Frida Aasen (2020)
At the 2020 screening for Amants, model Frida Aasen donned this Grecian-inspired Alberta Ferretti tunic, which featured silver chain detailing on the sleeves.
Jennifer Lawrence (2017)
The belle of the ball in 2017 was surely Jennifer Lawrence in this stunning gown from Christian Dior. In attendance to support her film Mother!, the sheer bodice and flower appliqué made for a gothic look – a nod perhaps to the tone of the film.
Alek Wek (2005)
On the arm of the designer himself, Alek Wek dressed in Valentino for the 2005 Venice Film Festival, both in attendance for the film premiere of Casanova.
Cate Blanchett (2018)