This year’s festival has seen attendees take a leaf out of Blanchett’s book and go back to designer brand archives to give the garments a second chance in the spotlight. Tiffany Haddish wore a gown from 2018.
This year’s festival has seen attendees take a leaf out of Blanchett’s book and go back to designer brand archives to give the garments a second chance in the spotlight. Tiffany Haddish wore a gown from 2018.

Celebrities champion sustainable fashion on Venice Film Festival red carpet

By Buhle Mbonambi Time of article published Sep 11, 2021

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Film festivals are a celebration of the art of film-making, celebrity and also, fashion. Stars parade on kilometres-long red carpets, preening to the paparazzi after spending hours primping in front of the mirror.

The expectation from the world is for the stars to be in a haute couture garments from the latest designer collections, a sign that they are important enough to be loaned the garments so soon after the show. The evening usually ends with a fashion publication detailing who was the best dressed and forgetting that it was all because of a film that the stars were even in attendance.

Events like film festivals, where stars have multiple outfit changes in one day, have reminded us about the consumption of the fashion industry. It was partly this reason that has seen many stars rethink their fashion choices at the festival, preferring to forgo the latest designs and rather look into brand archives.

Cate Blanchett was one of the first to embrace the trend, when she started sporting her previously worn designer gowns at the Cannes Film Festival in 2018. As president of the festival’s jury, she realised that it was necessary to remind fellow fashion lovers of the environmental crisis the fashion industry was contributing to, by wearing the Armani Prive gown she had worn to the 2014 Golden Globes.

At last year’s Venice Film Festival, she made a concerted effort to do even better, with her entire wardrobe at the event being garments she had worn previously, with some repurposed to be made more modern and suit the occasion.

This year’s festival has seen attendees take a leaf out of Blanchett’s book and go back to designer brand archives to give the garments a second chance in the spotlight.

Tiffany Haddish wore a Christian Siriano black and white strapless gown from the Pre-Fall 2019 collection, which was presented in 2018, to the premier of her film, The Card Counter.

Puerto Rican actress Adria Arjona also stood out, wearing an Armani Prive gown from 2014.

Models Barbara Palvin and Madisin Rian decided to rummage in the archival closet of Giorgio Armani, wearing garments from the Armani Prive Spring 2011 Fall 2010 collections.

Maude Apatow, the daughter of Leslie Mann and Judd Apatow, wore an Armani dress that was showcased when she was only 10 years old, as part of the brand’s 2008 collection.

Will this help with the industry’s dream of helping lower fashion consumption? Possibly. It does, however, take a star of Blanchett’s calibre to remind us how sustainable fashion is important.

Her words to her peers in Cannes ring true: “From couture to T-shirts, landfills are filled with garments that have been unnecessarily discarded. Particularly in today’s climate, it seems wilful and ridiculous that such beautiful garments are not cherished and reworn for a lifetime.”

This article first appeared in Saturday Insider, September 11, 2021

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