Best Hairstyles From The Cannes 2016 Opening Gala

The 69th annual Cannes Film Festival is well and truly under way and we’ve already seen some excellent styling on and off the Red Carpet. The Cannes Film Festival always makes for the most dramatic, most extravagant Red Carpet styling choices, bar the Met Gala, of course. Everything about Cannes is big, brilliant and bold. Cannes is where people come out to play and there’s just such a fun, cheerful mood all around.

The Cannes Opening Ceremony is always the most-awaited day of the festival because it just sets the tone for the entire event. Here’s my pick of the best-loved hairstyles from the 2016 Cannes Opening Gala. Enjoy! 

Anna Kendrick

I’ll admit, I had a hard time choosing between Anna Kendrick’s Old Hollywood waves and Amal Clooney’s more voluminous take on the beloved hairstyle. In the end, Anna’s version wins the spot because it’s sleeker, more wearable across a variety of occasions and slightly younger-looking. The auburn hair’s also a great summer-to-fall color, bright enough for the beach yet sophisticated enough for the colder months. These Veronica Lake-esque side-swept waves will always be a Red Carpet favorite and if you’re ever in doubt about hairstyles for weddings, galas etc. just know that you can’t go wrong with this retro glam look.

Araya A. Hargate

Thai superstar Araya Hargate’s structural updo made for one of the best formal hairstyles at Cannes. The differentiated planes at the crown, the sharp contrast between lines and curves and the low looped bun are the makings of a formal hairstyle that’s elegant without being predictable. There’s enough going on there to catch your eye while still keeping the overall effect graceful.

The front segment involves styling up and back, pulling focus to the crown- it’s a look that will work easier with oval and heart-shaped faces as compared to square-shaped faces and more angular jawlines. This is a hairstyle that serves to elongate the face, so you might want to give this one a miss if you’re looking for hairstyles with a softening effect. My advice would be to opt for updos with less structural, more messy and fluffed-up crowns.

Gaia Weiss

Lobs and asymmetrical cuts continue to dominate the Red Carpet scene at Cannes 2016, which is why Gaia Weiss’ braided updo instantly made its way to my list here. The Vikings actress is bringing some of her on-screen style to the Red Carpet with this super spunky, ultra glam braid.

There are a couple of ways to recreate the look. The easiest way to do so is to make a French braid and then take the regular plait section (below the neck) and fold it back upwards and pin it into place over the braided-in section. You’ll have to tuck all ends and loose bits in to create the ‘braided spine,’ but it’s a fairly easy trick to master. You can also try your hand with the dragon braid (you need to know how to make a Dutch lace braid for this one) or the faux hawk, though you’ll definitely need skill, patience and serious arm muscles for those!

Jessica Chastain

If we’re electing an official color for Cannes 2016, it’s going to be yellow. If we’re electing an official hairstyle for Cannes 2016, it’s going to be the asymmetrical bob. Jessica Chastain’s tousled, textured lob beat out all others to make it to the list for a number of reasons.

For starters, the messy wavy texture adds a relaxed, lived-in contrast to the uber-glam jewelry and formal gown. It’s a nice touch, because she looks like she’s having fun and isn’t too worried about her look, while still looking like a million bucks. Secondly, Jessica’s lob is the perfect length. Kristen Stewart’s (she’s on this list too, btw!) bob might be tough for some to carry while Naomi Watts’ longer lob (a close contender) requires more styling. This is the ideal length for someone who wants a fuss-free but fab haircut for all times. Third, the cuivre red hair color is going to be one of the biggest Autumn Winter 2016 hair color trends and the burnished copper on Jessica is absolute perfection. Take notes.

Kristen Stewart

Kristen Stewart’s bleached blonde hair is the talk of the town right now. It’s really interesting to map how Kristen’s personal style has evolved over the last few years. And it’s all the more satisfying because you can see she’s sporting trends that actually resonate with her. So often you’ll see a celebrity wearing an outfit or a hairstyle that somehow seems to sit on them and doesn’t feel like it fits; with Kristen you get the sense that what you see on the Red Carpet is exactly what she’s going to be wearing on her own time.

The flaxen-colored bob is undoubtedly one of the boldest hairstyles we’re seeing right now: the color is difficult to pull off but glorious, the dark roots add a serious edge and that messy, punk vibe is really working for her. Asymmetrical bobs make for some of the most versatile haircuts because there’s no end to the ways in which you can style them. Earlier at a photocall Kristen wore her platinum bob parted down the middle, but for the Opening Gala she wore it parted on a side and brushed over with a lot of volume and softly wavy texture.

Here’s the secret to making platinum blonde hair work: always fill-in your brows to soften the effect and add a slightly more neutral, natural palette to the face. It works especially well if you’re keeping darker roots.

Li Bingbing

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Even with a retinue of stylists and experts on call it’s difficult to always get it right. All celebrities slip up sometime or the other, and it’s a reminder of how just personal and subjective style sensibilities are and how celebs are just regular folks too. Except Li Bingbing, that is.

Li Bingbing is always so perfectly turned out that it’s hard to imagine her in anything but the most stunning gowns, flawless makeup and impeccable hairstyles. Take her look from the Cannes 2016 Opening Ceremony for instance: it’s not a hairdo we’ve never seen before but something about it still takes your breath away. The excellence is in its execution and in doing justice to a formal hairdo by making sure there isn’t a hair out of place. It’s perfect example of a look that’s sewn together so seamlessly that you can’t imagine a single aspect differently. It’s a great example of how to match a formal hairstyle to the occasion, your outfit, your jewelry, your makeup and your personality in a manner that lifts up the whole and celebrates the individual aspects.

The super large, super glam high bun is a hairstyle that will work everywhere. Can’t you just see it at weddings and at the workplace? Other photos from the event reveal how carefully the ends have been coiled and placed to finish the bun and that’s the sort of detailing that might take some time to master.

Nevertheless, this is a hairstyle you should be able to pull off at home. You’ll need hair mousse, your regular brush, an extra-large hair donut, a pintail comb to tuck in ends, a dressing comb to smooth down surfaces, tons of bobby pins and a great hairspray.

Lily Donaldson

It’s not often that you see a low-slung, regular three-strand plait on the Red Carpet, which is probably why this look caught my eye. I enjoy the architectural, gravity-defying looks just as much as everyone else (the Fashion Weeks are always a great source to mine for such hairstyles) but it really is refreshing to see your everyday hairstyle work so beautifully on the Red Carpet. In a way, it’s the sort of hairstyle that inspires you to return to the roots and look at classics with a fresh eye.

There are two things that make a good old-fashioned plait Red Carpet gold. Firstly, there’s just a hint of volume at the crown. That tiny detail separates your ‘I’m-late-for-class’ plait from the ‘I’m-Red-Carpet-ready’ plait. Secondly, the loose curves and relaxed lines of the hairstyle work really well with Lily’s choker and the strappy dress, creating all sorts of planes and curves and angles that compliment each other beautifully. At first look, it’s an everyday hairdo, but once you start deconstructing the look you see that there’s a lot of thought that has gone into these choices.

Stay tuned for more hairstyles and trends from Cannes 2016. We’re already seeing some exciting new hairstyles follow these looks and I am going to be covering them all, mapping trends and discussing styling tips in the days to follow.