Stars Shine and Show Some Skin in Cannes

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Last Tuesday marked the start of the 71st Cannes Film Festival which runs through May 18, 2018. The beauty of reviewing fashion at this annual gathering of who’s who in film is that celebrities and attendees are not only wearing red carpet looks for film screenings and events, but also a chic variety of daytime head-to-toe looks for panels, photoshoots, promotional events and interviews.

No matter the time of day, three top trends are emerging as the stars promote their latest works.

For the Love of Legs

Maybe it was the warm weather after a long winter, or simply the sunshine that caused starlets to “go gam.” Paired with floor length skirts (or what could be called “waist capes”) were short nothings underneath. From short gingham shorts to bejeweled bodysuits to what looked like a black bathing suit bottom, celebrities showed off their legs and interestingly configured garments.

Check the trend for daytime on Marion Cotillard in gingham at the screening of Angel Face. It was as if she was wearing the best of all men’s wear garment signatures, a bodice cut on shirting bias, a waistband cut for the perfect pair of trousers and a front opening to her skirt which resembled the placket of a men’s dress shirt.

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On the opposite end of the spectrum, Izabel Goulart took this trend to the feminine extreme at the screening of Sink or Swim. Speaking of swimming, if she were to lose the “waist cape” portion of her ensemble, she might have the the most amazing swimsuit on the French Riviera.

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Natasha Poly is giving us a complete side leg reveal in her interpretation of this long-and-short-of-it trend at Cannes.

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Bandeaus, Bows and Bare Midriffs

The sun and stars shine bright in Cannes, and starlets seem to have summer, swimwear and a nod to playful bows on their fashion radar. Combined with red carpet worthy fabrics, Cannes attendees emulated the summertime vibe, but in combinations perfect for screening the newest flicks in the south of France.

Elsa Hosk in Alberta Ferretti is a good example. Spotted at the screening of Girls of the Sun, she radiated old school glamour while giving us youthful days of summer as she walked the red carpet.

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We bow down to the way Joan Smalls can work a bandeau bow.  Seen at Chopard Secret Night, Smalls dons a big bow perfectly paired with a high waisted, full length skirt—complete with a train.

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Lupita Nyong’o wore Miu Miu to the “355” cocktail party, and perfectly on trend for the festival, revealed just a hint of skin with a dress that could easily transition into a very chic beach-worthy suit given a few alterations to the bottom half.

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Sometimes this trend was a bit less overt and only hinted at the bandeau plus a peek of skin, as seen here on (the once again featured) Marion Cotillard. Cotillard seemed to appear everywhere at Cannes, and in an on point ensemble, no matter the event.
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Strong Shapes in Black and White (Plus a Little Shoulder)

There’s nothing like being able to marvel at the brilliance of a garment’s bold construction. While the following looks may appear “simple” in black and white, use the stark color palette to appreciate each pleat, seam and construction detail that contributes to the power of the overall looks.

Penelope Cruz takes the cake on this trend in her Dior Haute Couture. Just look at how that beautifully engineered pleating shows itself at the hem. The bare shoulder balances out the amount of fabric needed to create this dress.

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Chloe Sevigny shows the power of strength, simplicity and some shoulder in Chanel.

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Again, Marion Cotillard (or her incredible stylist) shows her ability to nail Cannes red carpet trends in Armani Privé.

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And what red carpet event would be complete without Cate Blanchett? Also in Armani Privé, Cate shows off the impressive engineering of a seemingly simple all-black gown (not to mention a little shoulder) at the Girls of the Sun screening.

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While the jury may still be out on the brightest and best films of the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, the decision has been made on winning style trends. The verdict? Skin is in. From the show of shoulders, to midriffs to legs, you can almost feel the summer season coming just around the corner.

There was so much more to see at Cannes including feathers, suits and perfectly sculpted bustiers…what were your favorite looks? Share, share, share below!

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Kara Laricks is a regular contributor to the University of Fashion. She’s also a New York based women's wear and accessories designer. As the first winner of NBC's Fashion Star, Kara has designed collections for H&M, Macy's and Saks Fifth Avenue. Her masculine meets feminine line, Kara Laricks, debuted at New York Fashion Week in 2012 and her S/S 2013 collection sold exclusively at Saks Fifth Avenue. Kara's designs have been featured on the Today Show and HBO's True Blood as well as covered in Women's Wear Daily and on Kara holds Master's degrees in both Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Kansas and in Fashion Design from the Academy of Art in San Francisco. An educator turned designer, Kara is dedicated to supporting emerging designers and inspiring others to follow where dreams lead.