This year’s Venice Film Festival kicked off this week and offers a welcome throwback. Sure, the annual tribute to the best in international cinema has been a tradition for the past eight decades, but 2020’s lack of star-studded events and joyous celebration has elevated it to new prominence. As the first international fest since the coronavirus pandemic began, Venice reminds the world of the power of on-screen creativity and red carpet fantasy. With new films from Pedro Almodóvar, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Gia Coppola, and even Orson Welles, the schedule is jam-packed and chic stars from across the globe will be sailing in on water taxis for photo ops and premieres. The eternally elegant jury president Cate Blanchett leads the pack, and with nine days worth of premieres and appearances from innovative style stars like Tilda Swinton, Regina King, and Italian pop star, Elodie the fashion is sure to delight.
This week’s opening ceremony set the bar for style high. Blanchett went sustainable by shopping her closet and pulling out a dramatically sequined Estaban Cortazar look that she’d first worn in 2015 at the London premiere of Carol. Golden Lion recipient Swinton brought out the Chanel couture to pick up a lifetime achievement award for her boundary-breaking career. Her understated ruffled blouse and skirt combo received an artsy accent thanks to a custom Venetian carnival mask designed by Björk’s creative director James T. Merry.
At photo calls, the outfits were as eventful. Lovers star Stacy Martin shined in a navy Louis Vuitton mini dress meets bomber jacket while promoting her latest project. Likewise, the journey from the water taxi to step and repeat never looked as good as when jury member Ludivine Sagnier emerged in a floral Miu Miu piece from the brand’s spring 2020 collection.
Right now, the entire world is watching as the festival provides a template on how to safely stage a high profile event while adhering to health guidelines. Masks and social distancing are now mandatory for attendees but that hasn’t dimmed the glamour. The inspiration provided by Venice’s films, fashion, and stars gives a glimpse of the red carpet’s future in 2020 and beyond.