The Oscar-winning actor arrived at the annual French film festival on 21 May wearing a crimson Christian Dior couture gown for the Anatomie D’une Chute (Anatomy Of A Fall) premiere. The Old Hollywood-style dress featured a ruffled bust, corset bustier, and matching shawl draped over her shoulders. She paired the ensemble with a diamond choker necklace and a pale red lip colour.
However, it was her shoes that turned heads. Underneath the Hunger Games star’s floor-length gown was a pair of casual black flip-flops, which could be seen in photos as she descended the Palais des Festivals steps.
Jennifer Lawrence is in Cannes for the premiere of the documentary Bread and Roses, which she co-produced. The film follows three Afghan women in the weeks after the Taliban’s return to power in 2021 following the withdrawal of US troops.
The Silver Linings Playbook star isn’t the only celebrity to ditch a pair of heels for more comfortable footwear on the red carpet. In 2018, Kristen Stewart also removed her heels while walking the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival – though many believed it was in protest of the festival’s alleged dress code.
The Cannes Film Festival has previously caused controversy for its strict dress code, allegedly requiring that all female guests wear heels. Stewart had expressed her opposition over the expectations that women must dress in a specific way in a 2017 interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
“There’s definitely a distinct dress code right, people get very upset at you if you don’t wear heels or something, whatever,” she said. “But I feel like you can’t ask people that anymore, it’s just kind of a given, like if you’re not asking guys to wear heels and a dress you cannot ask me either.”
The festival’s alleged dress code previously sparked backlash in 2015, when a group of women in their 50s were reportedly turned away from a screening of the film Carol for not wearing high heels. The alleged incident caused many social media users to complain that the festival’s red carpet traditions were “outdated”.
A spokesperson for the Cannes Film Festival told The Independent at the time that the policy had been in place “throughout the years”, adding: “There is no specific mention about the height of the women’s heels as well as for men’s. Thus, in order to make sure that this rule is respected, the Festival’s hosts and hostesses were reminded of it.”
However, the uproar surrounding the dress code prompted festival head Thierry Fremaux to tweet about the controversy, writing at the time: “The rumor that the festival requires high heels for the women on the steps is baseless.”
Meanwhile, actor Emily Blunt – whose film Sicario had premiered at the 2015 festival – weighed in on the backlash. “Everyone should wear flats, to be honest. We shouldn’t wear high heels,” said Blunt during a press conference. “That’s very disappointing, just when you kind of think there are these new waves of equality.”
Most recently, Natalie Portman addressed the different expectations for women and men at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. While speaking about her upcoming film May December, which also stars Julianne Moore and Charles Melton, Portman explained how gender norms are even seen on the Cannes red carpet, where women are required to wear heels.
“Even here, the different ways we, as women, are expected to behave at this festival even compared to men…how we’re supposed to look, how we’re supposed to carry ourselves,” she said, according to Variety. “The expectations are different on you all the time. It affects how you behave, whether you are buying into or rejecting it. You’re defined by the social structures upon you.”
The Independent has contacted Cannes Film Festival for comment.