The Cannes Film Festival organizers took on a storm of criticism in 2015 after denying some women entry to a premiere because they were wearing flats.
Even the women who physically could not wear heels due to medical conditions were denied. The festival organizers did not comment on the issue, but they did confirm that it is obligatory for female attendees to be in high heels to red-carpet screenings.
The policy is no doubt backward and archaic, but the interesting thing is that the Cannes Film Festival has been letting women walk the red carpet in flats. Heel-shunning Uma Thurman has been walking the Cannes red carpet like a goddess for years, and you may remember Karlie Kloss slaying it last year in a pair of Valentino studded flat sandals.
Our point is that flats can look just as glamorous and fabulous as heels on the red carpet. These 17 celebrities prove it.
1. Gal Gadot in $50 Aldo Gladiator Sandals
Partially due to back injury, but also to stay more comfortable, Gal Gadot rocked a pair of budget-friendly $50 Aldo “Starda” gladiator sandals (available at Amazon) to the Wonder Woman premiere held at The Pantages Theatre in Hollywood.
Gal Gadot wearing gladiator flats at the “Wonder Woman” world premiere held at The Pantages Theatre in Hollywood on May 25, 2017
2. Uma Thurman in Jimmy Choo “Fiona” Flat Sandals
Uma Thurman floated down the 2011 Cannes Film Festival red carpet in a Chanel Fall 2008 couture cap-sleeve gown and Jimmy Choo “Fiona” flat sandals. Like Karlie, Uma also repeated the gown and flats ensemble at that year’s amfAR gala.
Uma Thurman at the “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” premiere held on day 4 of the 2011 Cannes International Film Festival in Cannes, France, on May 14, 2011
Uma Thurman at the amFar Cinema Against AIDS Gala held on day 9 of the 2011 Cannes International Film Festival in Cannes, France, on May 19, 2011
3. Emma Watson in Creatures of Comfort Slip-On Style Flats
Fashion critics did not like the satin gown from Ronald van der Kemp that Emma Watson wore at the 2018 Golden Globe Awards, which she accessorized with Lilian Von Trapp jewelry and Creatures of Comfort slip-on style flats with a wraparound tie.
Emma Watson wearing a custom Ronald van der Kemp gown
Susan Sarandon, Rosa Clemente, Marai Larasi, and Emma Watson at the InStyle and Warner Bros. Party held after the 2018 Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, on January 7, 2018
4. Cate Blanchett in Jimmy Choo “Doodle” Sandals
Cate Blanchett at the 2014 Crystal + Lucy Awards at Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles, California, on June 11, 2014
5. Kristen Stewart in Bloch “Fonteyn” Ballet Flats
If you think only tall celebrities can get away with wearing flats, 5’5″ Kristen Stewart disproved that. Crutches and a foot injury didn’t stop Kristen from looking fabulous in a Reem Acra Couture strapless gown and Bloch “Fonteyn” ballet flats at the 2013 Oscars.
Kristen Stewart at the 85th annual Oscars held at the Hollywood & Highland Center in Los Angeles, California, on February 24, 2013
6. Lana Del Rey in Nude Glitter Flats
Lana Del Rey at the 2012 Echo Awards held at the Palais am Funkturm in Berlin, Germany, on March 22, 2012
7. Elle Macpherson in Jimmy Choo Gold-Beaded T-Strap Flats
Elle Macpherson let her natural boho style peek through in her green-and-gold Roberto Cavalli one-shoulder gown and Jimmy Choo gold-beaded t-strap flats ensemble at the 4th annual Women’s World Awards.
Elle Macpherson at the 4th annual Women’s World Awards in Vienna, Austria, on March 5, 2009
8. Abbie Cornish in Aldo “Kaprisha” Flats
Abbie Cornish gave her red Giulietta Spring 2012 dress a splash of laidback Australian vibe with Aldo “Kaprisha” flats.
Abbie Cornish at the “Seven Psychopaths” premiere at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto, Canada, on September 7, 2012
9. Bianca Balti in Silver Gladiator Sandals
Another celebrity to walk the Cannes’ red carpet in flats, Italian model Bianca Balti showed off some of her professional poses in a navy Chanel spring 2012 Couture jewel-embellished dress and silver gladiator sandals.
Bianca Balti at the “Clouds of Sils Maria” premiere at the 67th annual Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, on May 23, 2014
10. Emma Thompson in Christian Louboutin “Toboggan” Glitter Flats
Emma Thompson famously threw her Louboutin heels over her shoulder and just wore flats to her next red carpet event instead.
Opting for Christian Louboutin‘s “Toboggan” gold glitter flats, the 56-year-old British actress happily and comfortably walked the red carpet at the 2014 SAG Awards.
Emma Thompson at the 20th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles, California, on January 19, 2014
11. Nicole Kidman in Thong Sandals
Nicole Kidman channeled the complete opposite of her witchy role in a floaty, white Yves Saint Laurent dress and gold thong sandals at the ‘Bewitched’ premiere.
Nicole Kidman at the “Bewitched” film premiere held at Ziegfeld Theatre in New York City on June 21, 2005
12. Carole Bouquet in T-Strap Sandals
Carole Bouquet embodied French sophistication in a forest green Prada dress and t-strap sandals at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.
Carole Bouquet at the “Foxcatcher” premiere at the 67th Annual Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, on May 19, 2014
13. Gwendoline Christie in Roger Vivier Buckle Flats
Gwendoline Christie embraced every inch of her 6’3″ height in a majestic Jean Paul Gaultier Spring 2015 couture cape paired with black trousers and black Roger Vivier buckle flats.
Gwendoline Christie at the “Game of Thrones season 5” premiere at the Tower of London in London, England, on March 18, 2015
14. Alexa Chung in Manolo Blahnik “Okkato” Jeweled Shoes
Alexa Chung at the “China: Through The Looking Glass” Costume Institute Benefit Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City on May 4, 2015
15. Inès de La Fressange in Flat Sandals
When we think of a celebrity that should really prove to the Cannes Film Festival that women should be allowed to wear flats, we think of Inès de La Fressange.
The French aristocrat has been wearing nothing but flats to the festival for years and has killed the fashion game each and every single time.
Left: Inès de La Fressange at the “Mad Max: Fury Road” premiere at the 68th annual Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, on May 14, 2015 / Right: At the “Irrational Man” premiere at 68th annual Cannes Fim Festival in Cannes, France, on May 15, 2015
Left: Inès de La Fressange at the “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” premiere at the 65th annual Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, on May 18, 2012 / Right: At “The Bling Ring” premiere at 66th annual Cannes Fim Festival in Cannes, France, on May 16, 2013
Left: Inès de La Fressange at “The Great Gatsby” premiere at 66th annual Cannes Fim Festival in Cannes, France, on May 15, 2013 / Right: At the “How to Train Your Dragon 2” premiere at the 67th annual Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, on May 16, 2014
16. Charlize Theron in T-Strap Flat Sandals
Charlize Theron was a goddess in a white Grecian drape gown and black t-strap flat sandals at the opening of the Atlantis Hotel in Dubai.
Charlize Theron wearing flats at the launch of the new Atlantis Hotel on the Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on November 20, 2008
17. Karlie Kloss in Chanel and Valentino Flat Sandals
Karlie Kloss graced the opening ceremony of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival in a maroon Valentino Spring 2014 sheer lace gown and Valentino t-strap flat sandals. For that festival season’s amfAR gala, Karlie once again donned Chanel flats with a navy Chanel Fall 2011 couture pearl-beaded gown.
Karlie Kloss at the “Grace of Monaco” premiere and the opening ceremony of the 67th annual Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, on May 14, 2014
Karlie Kloss wearing flats at the amfAR 21st Annual Cinema Against AIDS Gala held during the 67th annual Cannes Film Festival at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Cap d’Antibes, France, on May 22, 2014
Credit: Adriana M. Barraza / Andres Otero / Dave Bedrosian / Lexi Jones / Lia Toby / Apega/ ATP / Credit: FayesVision / Future Image / IPA/ ITP Publishing / KIKA / PNP / WENN / Brian To