Kristen Stewart let her footwear — or lack thereof — do the talking on the red carpet at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival on Monday, May 14. The actress and jury member arrived at the BlacKkKlansman screening wearing an embellished Chanel minidress and Christian Louboutin spike heels, but she quickly ditched the sky-high stilettos in favor of bare feet — a violation of the film festival’s unofficial footwear policy.
After posing for photogs with her Louboutins on, Stewart approached the rain-soaked staircase at the Palais des Festivals and promptly removed her shoes. She then walked up the stairs barefoot and holding the red-soled stilettos as a man with an umbrella tried to shield her from the inclement weather.
While K.Stew hasn’t commented on the wardrobe move that had every woman who’s ever suffered in a pair of high heels saluting in solidarity, we wouldn’t be surprised if the outspoken star was trying to make a statement.
There have long been rumors that the annual French film festival’s “black tie” dress code, which requires men wear tuxedos and bowties and women sport formalwear, forbids female attendees from wearing flats. While officials have denied such a policy exists, a producer suffering from a foot injury was turned away from a 2015 screening of Carol for wearing flats even though it was for medical — not sartorial — reasons.
After an uproar that included actress Emily Blunt suggesting “everyone should wear flats” on the red carpet, the festival’s director, Thierry Fremaux, claimed no such rule exists. “Nobody is obligated to wear heels on the red carpet,” he said at the 2015 Kering Women in Motion event. “One of our agents screwed up, and we apologized right away.”
But not everyone was placated by that response. In 2016, Julia Roberts showed her dismay with the unofficial rule by walking the Cannes carpet barefoot. And at a 2017 Cannes roundtable event, K.Stew got in on the action by reportedly lamenting the dress code’s double standard. “Things have to change immediately,” she said. “I get the black-tie thing, but you should be able to do either version — flats or heels.”