The Daily Californian Arts & Entertainment picks for best-dressed at the 78th Annual Venice Film Festival

photo of Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya at the Venice Film Festival

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The red carpet rolled out in Venice, Italy from Sept. 1-11 for the 78th Venice International Film Festival, signaling the beginning of a long-awaited post-pandemic film festival season. With South Korean director Bong Joon-ho appointed as President of the Jury, this was a truly international and engaging affair for both film and fashion. Across the festival’s 92 films and seemingly bottomless list of celebrity attendees, there was no shortage of memorable red carpet fashion moments. From Zendaya in Balmain to Kate Hudson in Valentino, here are The Daily Californian’s picks for the best-dressed celebrities at the 2021 Venice Film Festival. 

Zendaya in Balmain

Zendaya was a vision in a nude-colored custom Balmain gown for the premiere of “Dune.” This floor-length leather piece draped perfectly across the actress, enhancing her silhouette in a sleek marble-sculpted effect. For this Renaissance-inspired gown, Balmain designer Olivier Rousteing cast a mold of Zendaya’s body for a truly individualized fashion moment. The intricate shaping of the fabric along the shoulder, bust and waist created a fun texture that added femininity and softness to a traditionally rigid textile. Playing with the Grecian goddess theme of her look, Zendaya wore her hair slicked back along with an emerald green and silver Bulgari statement necklace.

Mariacarla Boscono in Jean Paul Gaultier

Italian model and actress Mariacarla Boscono arrived at the premiere of “Madres Paralelas” in a daring burgundy gown designed by Jean Paul Gaultier. An asymmetrical shoulder strap, ornately detailed with artful fabric pleating, created a floral motif that falls into a symmetrical double leg-baring side slit. Gaultier’s texturizing took on an almost poetic quality, giving the gown a life and pattern of its own. An extra layer of dimensionality was added by the fact that the piece has been crafted by multiple subtle shades of burgundy. Paired with diamond and emerald Cartier jewelry and sheer oxblood tights, Boscono upheld her legendary supermodel reputation. 

Milena Smit in Balmain

For the premiere of her film “Madres Paralelas,” actress Milena Smit made a sharp statement in a black and white Balmain gown inspired by a look from the fashion house’s Spring/Summer 2020 collection. Designed by Olivier Rousteing, Smit’s dress featured a singular bold cutout across the décolletage that takes a sharp turn to create an angle that runs down the length of the piece. The artistry of Balmain was evident in the construction of this gown as it appeared from the front to be made out of two pieces— a white angular shoulder hugging sleeve and a sparkly black sleeveless dress. The backside revealed that the gown was a single component, the black fabric a carefully attached panel to a white dress with sculpted shoulders. Smit wore this illusory silhouette with a sleek bun, completing her glamorous appearance. 

Cynthia Erivo in Tory Burch

For the Venice Film Festival’s opening day, English actress and singer-songwriter Cynthia Erivo wore a theatrically styled gown from the Tory Burch Resort 2022 collection. The floor-length white gown was adorned with a repeating graphic motif of women and swans. This piece was a stunning demonstration of American designer Tory Burch’s legacy, whose more commercial lines often overshadow her beautiful higher-end pieces such as Erivo’s gown. The vibrant blue color on the dress’s illustrated print was paralleled in the actress’s headwrap, which she also wore with a statement-making nose ring, giving this gown an elevated styling. 

Kate Hudson in Valentino

Actress Kate Hudson graced the red carpet premiere of “Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon” wearing an ethereal red tulle and lace gown from the Valentino Resort 2022 Ready-to-Wear collection. Layers of translucent red tulle gave the dress an ethereal airlessness, making Hudson appear as if she could float away at any time. Valentino designer Pierpaolo Piccioli strategically placed panels of opaque Chantilly lace detailing across the actress’s neck, chest and sleeves, allowing coherence between the gown’s sheer top half and its multilayered skirt. Wearing her long blonde hair down, Hudson glowed effortlessly under the spotlight. 

Contact Michelle San Andres at [email protected].