Let’s face it - we’ve all been there. How many of us have squeezed our poor unsuspecting feet into a towering pair of heels, only to whip them off an hour later, crying for mercy? Not only does Julia Roberts get it. She’s done it. And boy, do we salute the Hollywood star for doing the Cannes red carpet her way - barefoot and unapologetic - last night.
The Pretty Woman actress kicked off her skyscrapers like a badass pro, showing a total disregard for the paparazzi flash bulbs and sticking a fingers up to last year’s baffling Cannes heel policy – a policy that allegedly barred women (some of whom had actual medical conditions) from entry for wearing flats.
Here’s the thing about those brackets. Since when did any woman require a medical certificate to exempt her from outdated notions of femininity? It shouldn’t matter if a woman has sciatica or not. So what if her lower lumbar is playing up that week? What matters is whether she feels comfortable or not. In the same month Directors UK urged the film industry to take decisive actions to tackle the issue of gender inequality, a pair of heels becomes far more symbolic.
Which is why we applaud Julia Roberts and her bare feet – and why we’re celebrating a few of our favourite red carpet fashion rebels today. Lady Gaga and her meat dress; Sharon Stone in her GAP shirt and glorious Diane Keaton in her waistcoat and slacks. They’re doing it their way. Which begs the question: isn't it about time we all did?
Bjork And The Swan Dress (2001)
So iconic it has a Wikipedia page all of its own. Not only did the Icelandic singer wear a wraparound swan frock, necks entwined, she even mimicked laying an egg on the red carpet. Joan Rivers said at the time: "This girl should be put into an asylum." Over a decade later, many now reckon she should be put on a podium and given a gold medal. Us included.
Sharon Stone and the GAP shirt (1998)
In 1998 Sharon Stone wore a lilac Vera Wang skirt with a white button-down GAP shirt that she nabbed from her then-husband's wardrobe. The world went CRAZY. Why so daring? It was effortless.
Diane Keaton And Pretty Much EVERYTHING She Wears
Honestly? We could have compiled a top 10 with Diane Keaton stealing every number. No one can pull together a red carpet outfit like the Annie Hall legend. This 2005 throwback, for instance, is a real corker. Seriously, look at it! Who else could rock a bow-tie and tails and still make it look playful and fun? Who would you rather hang out with at a stuffy premiere surrounded by bland frocks and sequins? Is there any need for question marks here?
Lady Gaga And The Meat Dress (2010)
Few people pop into their local butchers on a Saturday morning, eye up some tasty pork chops and think to themselves, I'll wear that tonight. We've got Lady Gaga for that. The singer wore a dress made of raw beef to the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards - and was simultaneously condemned by animal rights groups and lauded by Time Magazine as a fashion triumph. Which only goes to show, Lady Gaga isn't one to sit on the fence. It's especially difficult whilst wearing a cowled-neck cocktail gown comprised of jerky.
Julia Roberts And The Hairy Armpit (1999)
Yes, we still live in a world where the sight of a woman's unshaved armpit is deemed 'rebellious'. And no, we can't think of a single celebrity who's dared to bare their hair on the red carpet since. These two points may be connected...maybe...
Helena Bonham-Carter And The Enchanted Forest
Introducing one of our favourite red carpet dressers. What's Helena Bonham-Carter's secret? We hope it's an enchanted forest and a frolick of mystic fairies as personal stylists. And if Vivienne Westwood's on board, so much the better.
Tilda Swinton And...And....EVERYTHING She Wears
Call it androgyny. Call it shape-shifting. Tilda Swinton is a chameleon and an utterly wild original.
By Kat lister