Cannes - cinema's most glamorous film festival - made headlines for all the wrong reasons last year when they enforced a heels-only policy for its red carpet events. Stars like Emily Blunt slammed festival organisers for the outdated and restrictive dress code, which saw women turned away from the premiere for Cate Blanchett's Carol because they were wearing rhinestone-encrusted flats.
"That's very disappointing," Blunt said at the time. "Everyone should wear flats to be honest. We shouldn't be wearing high heels anyways. That's my point of view. I just prefer wearing Converse sneakers."
This year, Julia Roberts made an even more powerful statement, striding onto the red carpet at the croisette for the premiere of her film Money Monster in a pair of Armani heels, before promptly removing them and walking the remainder of the event barefoot, laughing gleefully at the nonplussed photographers. Over the past few days, several other A-listers have come out in support of Roberts and shed their shoes in solidarity with the 48-year-old actress.
Rising starlet Sasha Lane made a big impression on the assembled press when she appeared at the photo session for her debut film American Honey barefoot. The 19-year-old actress stars alongside her boyfriend Shia Labeouf and Riley Keogh in the indie film, which tells the story of a disparate group of teenagers who band together for a road trip across America. Lane one-upped Roberts at the American Honey press conference earlier this week by not only being photographed barefoot, but also arriving at the event without wearing any shoes.
Kristen Stewart has also been spotted out and about during the festival pairing her Chanel haute couture looks with a roster of grungey, worn-in kicks. And while it might not be going quite as bare as Roberts and Lane, the 26-year-old has made it known that she is not okay with being forced to wear a pair of towering, skyscraper heels on the red carpet.
"Things have to change immediately," Stewart has said to reporters at the festival. "It has become really obvious that if [a man and I] were walking the red carpet together, and someone stopped me and said 'Excuse me, young lady, you're not wearing heels. You cannot come in.' Then [I'm going to respond], 'Neither is my friend. Does he have to wear heels?' It can work both ways. It's just like you simply cannot ask me to do something that you are not asking him. I get the black-tie thing but you should be able to do either version - flats or heels."
And to that we say a resounding: Amen!