The dress that launched a career! How Bella Hadid’s VERY racy red gown at Cannes Film Festival in 2016 propelled her to supermodel stardom
Cannes Film Festival has been host to an array of very memorable fashion moments over the years as the stars flock to the French Riviera town to walk the red carpet.
The hotly-anticipated event has returned for its 76th year this week, with the festivities kicking off on Tuesday with the Jeanne du Barry premiere.
It remains to be seen whether the 2023 festival will play host to any more iconic fashion looks or viral celebrity moments.
One of the most memorable occasions was when Bella Hadid stormed the 2016 red carpet in a very racy red dress which has since gone down in Cannes history.
The attention-grabbing gown saw the supermodel, now 26, upstage everyone at the Film Festival and it went a long way to propelling her towards her now-global fame.
Iconic: One of the most memorable occasions at Cannes Film Festival was when Bella Hadid stormed the 2016 red carpet in a very racy red dress which has since gone down in history
Stardom: The attention-grabbing gown saw the supermodel, 26, upstage everyone at the Film Festival and it went a long way to propelling her towards her now-global fame
Bella completely stole the show as she turned the red carpet into her very own runway at the Unknown Girl premiere.
She put on a leggy display in a red Alexandre Vauthier silk wrap gown with a daringly high side split, that went all the way up to her waist, and a plunging neckline.
Bella added a few extra inches to her frame with a pair of black strapped heels and let her outfit do all the talking as her train billowed out behind her.
She swept her brunette tresses into a sleek up-do while her fringe fell loosely to frame her stunning features.
The bombshell, who is the younger sister of Gigi Hadid, bolstered her striking features with a high-glamour make-up palette.
She risked a wardrobe malfunction in the very daring ensemble, but later spoke out about how she felt her ‘risky’ outfit paid off on the night.
The model was previously known for wearing dark clothing, but made a daring move as she opted for a much more vibrant look with her raunchy rouge gown.
She was compared to Jessica Rabbit with her striking look, but Bella admitted she was ‘scared’ to move away from her signature style with the career-making dress.
Grabbing attention: The iconic fashion moment saw Bella steal the show as she turned the red carpet into her very own runway at the Unknown Girl premiere
Career-making moment: She put on a very leggy display in a racy red Alexandre Vauthier silk wrap gown with a daringly high side split that went all the way up to her waist
‘I’m usually very simple with my red carpet looks – I tend to just wear black – so this was a big risk,’ she told Glamour magazine just weeks after Cannes in 2016.
‘I was sort of scared about it, but I’ve had so much nice feedback which was exciting.’
Calling the gown the ‘riskiest thing’ she had worn, Bella added at the time that she would probably ‘tone down’ her upcoming outfits.
When asked how she navigated the tricky problem of underwear in the revealing look, Bella revealed she was actually wearing an extremely high-waisted leotard.
‘I didn’t have a problem with it at all, it held itself together,’ said the star, who looked as if she was mere millimetres away from a serious wardrobe malfunction.
‘If there was a little wind that would have been a problem but there wasn’t. It all worked out!’
Speaking to Vanity Fair after Cannes, Bella’s stylist Elizabeth Sulcer confessed she and Bella were both over-the-moon that the dress was having a ‘lasting impact’.
Bella’s huge fashion risk paid off as her memorable look not only went down in Cannes red carpet history, but also helped propel her to stardom.
Though she was already recognisable – as the daughter of Yolanda and Mohamed Hadid, and a model in her own right – her Cannes look helped her achieve global fame.
Bella admitted she was still ‘nervous around cameras’ at the time of her 2016 Cannes appearance, but has gone on to storm a whole host of red carpets and runways.
She had only graduated Malibu High School two years earlier in 2014 and then signed to IMG models, while she was at the very start of her modelling career when she stormed Cannes.
Just days after gaining global recognition for her look, Bella became an ambassador for Dior Makeup, a huge step in her blossoming modelling career.
Career-making moment: She risked a wardrobe malfunction in the very daring ensemble, but later spoke out about how she felt her ‘risky’ outfit paid off on the night
Racy: She was compared to Jessica Rabbit with her striking look, but Bella admitted she was ‘scared’ to move away from her signature style with the career-making dress
She starred in a web series for the luxury fashion house called Dior Makeup with Bella Hadid and went on to do a tutorial using their products for American Vogue’s YouTube channel.
Weeks later, Bella starred in her first ever Givenchy advert and the new face in fashion went on to join the pack of models storming the runway for the menswear brand’s fall 2016 haute couture collection in Paris.
Bella quickly went on to grab a host of opportunities across the summer, walking for Versace and Dior as 2016 certainly proved itself to be ‘the year of Bella Hadid’.
After appearing on the Turkish Vogue in April 2016, Bella appeared on the cover of Vogue Paris with Taylor Hill months later in September.
Now boasting 29 Vogue covers, Bella has also featured on Vogue China and Vogue Italia in 2017, before finally fronting the cover of its UK edition in March 2018, going on to become a magazine regular.
In January 2017, Bella walked once again in Givenchy’s menswear campaign in Paris and closed the show for Alexandre Vauthier – who designed her iconic Cannes look.
Just one month later, Bella was incredible unveiled as the newest ambassador of Bulgari and went on to walk in her sister Gigi’s Tommy Hilfiger collaboration show in LA.
Making a name for herself, Bella stormed New York Fashion Week as she opened shows for Prabal Gurung and Zadig & Voltaire, and walked for Alexander Wang, Brandon Maxwell, Michael Kors and Ralph Lauren, among others.
In June 2017, Bella went on to star alongside Zayn Malik in his Versace Versus campaign as she continued to soar to acclaim.
Over the following years, Bella made countless appearances at fashion weeks around the globe and joined A-list models strutting their stuff at an array of shows.
She quickly became a household name in the modelling world, socialising with the likes of Kendall Jenner and singers Taylor Swift and Dua Lipa.
Now, she is one of the most recognisable faces in fashion and has fronted a huge host of campaigns and featured on the front of endless magazines.
Success: After her Cannes appearance, Bella went on to storm a huge array of red carpets in 2016, including at the November Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show
Wow! She certainly proved 2016 was ‘the year of Bella Hadid’ as she walked for the likes of Moschino (pictured in September 2016), Versace and Dior
Bella even ventured into the business world in September 2021 as she became the co-founder of Kin Euphorics, a nonalcoholic adaptogenic beverage brand.
She also made her acting debut in Hulu’s Ramy as her huge fame and success saw her venture away from the runway in another bold career move.
After dating The Weeknd for four years, Bella struck up a romance with art director Marc Kalman, with the pair first being pictured together in July 2020.
Bella went Instagram official with her boyfriend a year later in July 2021, and the pair have been loved-up ever since.
After Bella’s career-making Cannes moment, the Film Festival has returned once again as it got underway on Tuesday with the premiere of the Louis XV period drama.
The film marks actor Johnny Depp’s return to cinema for the first time following his highly publicised libel trial against his ex-wife Amber Heard.
Period drama Jeanne du Barry, directed by and co-starring the French actor-director Maïwenn, co-stars Johnny Depp as Louis XV.
It’s his first new film since his trial last year with Amber Heard, his ex-wife.
After both Johnny and Amber accused each other of physical and verbal abuse, a civil jury awarded him $10 million in damages and $2 million to Amber.
Depp previously appeared as King Louis XV in promo images for his highly-anticipated film which were released back in January.
In 2016, Heard, 36, famously accused the actor, 59, of domestic violence, which led to Depp being blacklisted by much of Hollywood resulting in loss of film roles.
A jury determined that Heard’s claims, which were published in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed, against Depp were defamatory and she was ordered to pay the actor $15 million in damages.
Depp was ordered to pay Heard $2million by the same courtroom after Heard countersued for defamation.
Heard filed an appeal in early December, but the the former couple recently came to an agreement that Heard would pay $1million in order to settle the case instead of heading into a third trial.
Cannes is lined with much-anticipated big-budget films, including James Mangold’s Indiana Jones and the Dial of the Destiny and Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, the party is sure to go on, regardless.
The world’s biggest film festival will conclude with the Closing Ceremony on May 27.
Household name: Over the following years, Bella made countless appearances at fashion weeks around the globe. She is pictured walking the Miu Miu fashion show in October 2022
Romance: After dating The Weeknd for four years, Bella struck up a romance with art director Marc Kalman (pictured in October 2022)
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