A breathtaking gown is always a safe bet for a big movie premiere’s red carpet, but a thematic look that nods to the film is even better. At the world debut of Blonde during the Venice Film Festival, many attendees took this to heart: Celebrities chose looks that paid homage to Marilyn Monroe, the Old Hollywood star who is the subject of the new Andrew Dominik–directed film and played by Ana de Armas. Some of the gowns were subtle odes to Marilyn’s style, while others were more in your face.

The leading lady, de Armas, wore a pink halter-top gown by Louis Vuitton, complete with a hand-pleated satin mousseline skirt. It called back to the elegant white gown Monroe so famously wore in 1954’s The Seven Year Itch, when her dress flies up around her legs thanks to a subway grate (one of the most iconic images in American cinema). De Armas replicated the breezy silhouette, but the color change kept it from feeling costumey. Similarly, model Giulia De Lellis’s satiny pink gown with matching opera gloves was a modern take on the hot pink gown and gloves that Monroe wears in 1953’s Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

Ana de ArmasPhoto: Getty Images

Other stars at the Blonde premiere wanted their love for Marilyn to be crystal-clear. Romanian actor Madalina Diana Ghenea, for instance, showed up in Gianni Versace’s spring 1991 gown, which is plastered with colorful imagery of Marilyn done by the pop artist Andy Warhol. Italian actor Antonella Salvucci wore a halter-style gown by Eleonora Lastrucci that was also printed with a Pop Art–style Marilyn image.

Madalina Diana GheneaPhoto: Getty Images

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