Were women banned from Cannes for not wearing high heels?

There’s a rebellion brewing on the glitzy, properly glamorous red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival.

In response to reports that a group of 50-something women had been turned away from a film screening because they were were wearing flat shoes instead of teetering on high heels. Some of the women reportedly had medical conditions. In an ironic twist the film in question was Todd Haynes’s Carol, which, based on Patricia Highgate’s novel about a shop assistant in the 1950s who has a lesbian love affair with a married woman, carries a strong, feminist message.

The backlash to the reports has been immense, with movie stars in attendance at the invitation only festival joining in the condemnation.

Emily Blunt, who was on the Cannes press circuit for her FBI film Sicario,

“Everyone should wear flats, to be honest. We shouldn’t wear high heels,” she said when she was asked about the controversy at a Sicario press conference. “That’s very disappointing, just when you kind of think there are these new waves of equality.”

Sicario director Denis Villeneuve joked that he and Blunt’s co-stars, the very masculine Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin should don heels in solidarity.

Asif Kapadia the director of the Amy Winehouse documentary, Amy tweeted that his wife had also initially been denied entry to the screening because she was wearing flat shoes, but that she was eventually allowed in.

However the Cannes’s director, Thierry Frémaux,  said in response to the claims that the rumours were unfounded and that high heels are not obligatory.

The Guardian sought to get definitive understanding of the dress code at the festival, however staff seemed unsure whether high heels were compulsory.

As The Guardian discovered, guidelines were difficult to come by but were understood to mean black tie for men, and women were to be elegantly dressed with smart footwear.

Insiders say that the footwear rule is long standing.

Sydney Morning Herald film writer Stephanie Bunbury wrote of her own experiences at Cannes,

“The festival’s rule on high heels has been in force since anyone can remember. I have been turned away from a screening on these grounds myself, after being openly jeered by a couple of security guards for my temerity in wearing strappy gold flats.”

H&M collaborates with Parisian fashion house Balmain

It is no secret that the Billboard Music Awards have played host to a variety of fashion announcements over the years. With a stage prepped for the braver and more risk-taking attitudes to attire, the red carpet is the perfect platform for models, designers, celebrities and musicians to celebrate the relaxed, playful mood of the ceremony.

At this years award ceremony, Creative Director of Balmain, Olivier Rousteing, used the red carpet to launch his latest collaboration with H&M.

The red carpet served as the catwalk, premiering the first glimpse of the much anticipated collection.

Jourdan Dunn and Kendall Jenner stood beside the designer dressed in pieces from the upcoming range.

In a move towards an inclusionary vision for the fashion house, Rousteing stated that the collection was the designers way of connecting with his generation.

“I want to talk to my generation; this is my main aim as a designer. H&M allows me the unique possibility of bringing everyone into the world of Balmain . To get a piece of the dream and create a global #HMBalmaination – a movement of togetherness, fuelled on a hashtag. The collaboration felt extremely natural to me, H&M is a brand that everybody connects to, it calls for unity and i’m all for it!” says Rousteing.

Ann-Sofie Johansson, Creative Director at H&M stated that the collaboration would add a unique character to the established H&M brand.

“With its mix of couture spirit and streetwear attitude, Balmain owns a unique style, at once opulent and direct, sensual and energetic. It is also closely linked to the show business and music worlds, which adds another element of surprise”, says Johansson.

The collection will be available for purchase from November 5 in 250 stores worldwide and online and will also feature a line for men.

The designer Olivier Rousteing, centre, with models Jourdan Dunn, left, and Kendall Jenner at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas.

The designer Olivier Rousteing, centre, with models Jourdan Dunn, left, and Kendall Jenner at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas.