The Venice Film Festival: A Fashion Analysis and Critique

A budding fashion influencer, Leah is a staff writer for the Viper Times.

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Fashion Hits and Misses from the Venice Film Festival where influencers showed off all red wardrobes.

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Fashion Hits and Misses from the Venice Film Festival where influencers showed off all red wardrobes.

The Venice International Film Festival is a major Hollywood event where A-list celebrities everywhere gather to celebrate the artistry of film. This year, the 79th annual event took place in Lido Di Venezia of Northern Italy. The festival took place over the course of a few days, from the 31st of August to the 10th of September. With the festival being 11 days long and a hotspot for the press and media, there is no doubt that the A-listers tried their best to make headlines in popular fashion magazines. And while most made headlines, some were there for the wrong reasons (but hey, any publicity is good publicity!). 

First and foremost, let’s talk about Timothee Chalamet. In his monochromatically crimson ensemble, Chalamet sports a custom-made Haider Ackermann outfit consisting of a shimmering halter top, exposing his entire back, attached loosely to a pair of red trousers that appear to be of the same material as the top itself. The look is accessorized with Cartier rings and a matching red scarf. Is the look different from the typical “suit and tie” gig that most male celebrities fall back on time and time again? Absolutely. Chalamet most definitely earns himself a few points for creativity and breaking gender stereotypes. In fact, the custom-designed outfit seemed to be inspired by Ackermann’s 2018 collection of womenswear. But this begs the question, is it groundbreaking? Or is the outfit just above average? If a woman wore the same thing to the Venice film festival, would she be met with the same acceptance and support as Chalamet? There is a huge double standard in the fashion industry between men and women. At an event where women are ridiculed and critiqued for not being perfect, men are praised for being average. And in the case where men wear more creative outfits, they are worshipped. In this case, Chalamet is wearing a halter top – not groundbreaking in women’s fashion by any means – and is being labeled a “fashion icon.” The outfit isn’t bad by any means, just not special.  

As the celebs strutted by, Florence Pugh stole the show in her flowing and grand tulle gown. The Valentino Haute Couture ensemble was very fitting to the festival’s grandeur themes. Typically, the Venice International Film Festival dress code is high fashion and glamorous. Unfortunately, you don’t see the glamorous silhouettes of gowns anymore, for the trending styles of formal wear are usually sleek and simple. So, the sheer amount of fabric and the style of the dress bumps Pugh up to the top of the best-dressed list. Given that humans are naturally attracted to big and shiny things, the rhinestones in the dress add an appeal that could not be found if the dress was solid black. The delicacy of the massive sleeves and the trail of the dress are juxtaposed by the opening slit of the front of the dress. Simply put, the dress is stunning. However, we’ve seen it before. But nobody is asking Florence Pugh to be a trendsetter, so it doesn’t matter: the Valentino dress might not be original, but it is still beautiful and of very high quality. 

Emma Chamberlain is Gen Z’s fashion icon. She is, undoubtedly, the most influential trendsetter in all of Hollywood currently. So expectations are reasonably high when it comes to her outfits, especially at events as prestigious as the Venice Film Festival. In her vintage, archival Valentino gown, Chamberlain stuns in the blood-red shade. The silhouette of the gown compliments her body, and the history of the Valentino dress favors the pristine expectations of the festival, however, the more you look at the dress, the more you wonder what fabric is it made of. Perhaps butcher paper? Or plastic? It could be the reflection of the camera flash, but for some odd reason, the dress looks fake. And a little bit cheap, to be honest. The hem of the dress seems rugged as if it was cut with a pair of heavy-duty scissors. Regardless, Chamberlain still looks as classic as ever, the shape and style of the dress might be a nod to the old Hollywood greats. So all in all, the fabric can be overlooked; she looks great.  

The 2022 Venice Film Festival had its ups and downs for sure. A lot of Valentino, a lot of red, and a lot of mediocre outfits. But who are we to judge? Fashion is subjective.