Celebrity Style

From Bella Hadid’s Keffiyeh Dress To Cate Blanchett’s “Watermelon” Moment, This Year’s Cannes Red Carpet Has Been Particularly Politically Charged

Getty Images

To be simultaneously confronted with images from the 2024 Cannes Film Festival and those documenting the bombardment of Gaza is a jarring condition of the social media age – one that’s clearly inspired certain celebrities to make a political statement on the Croisette this year. See Bella Hadid in a Michael and Hushi dress constructed from traditional keffiyeh scarves, Pascale Kann in a look from the Palestinian brand Trashy Clothing’s spring/summer 2024 collection, and Cate Blanchett in a Haider Ackermann X Jean Paul Gaultier dress that seemed to nod to the colours of the Palestinian flag when photographed on the red carpet.

Bella Hadid in her Michael and Hushi dress. Getty Images

“I’m doing my dream job and I’m getting to travel the world, but then I’m hyper-aware of what’s happening in Rafah at the moment,” Nicola Coughlan – who has been sporting the Artists for Ceasefire pin while promoting the third series of Bridgerton – said in an interview this week. “And I just feel like, if I have this global platform, which I do at the minute, then I can hopefully raise funds for aid organisations.”

Note the green in Cate Blanchett’s train. Getty Images

The relationship between posing on a red carpet and taking meaningful political action is, of course, complicated. The proliferation of Ceasefire pins at this year’s Oscars, for example, felt like a potent riposte to censorship, but I’m not sure Cara Delevingne’s “Peg the Patriarchy” statement at the 2021 Met Gala was quite as impactful. There are plenty of people who would argue that this form of celebrity engagement is a facile substitute for real protest, but in an era in which activism is increasingly mediated through the sharing of images online, “real” protest has become increasingly hard to define.

Below, revisit a handful of the most memorable examples of red-carpet activism through the years.

This article was originally published on British Vogue.

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