words by Eliya Weinstein

The stars and elite of French cinema gathered at the Olympia in Paris for the 49th César Awards, presented by the Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma on the eve of Friday the 23rd of February. In true French fashion, the red carpet was lined with chic and glamorous looks.

Virginie Efira in Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello and Cartier (by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Pio Marmaï in Louis Vuitton and Cartier & Sandra Hüller in Louis Vuitton (by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Numerous actors and actresses stepped out in all black, which seems to be a choice you can’t go wrong with. Ana Girardot’s striped transparent shirt gave a hypnotic twist to her sleek black suit and leather tie combo, all by Celine and finished with Cartier jewelry. Actress Kim Higelin also wore a black Chanel suit, with pointed shoulders and wide leg tailoring, covered in sequins. Lea Drucker wore an elegant, strapless black dress by Dior and pointed black pumps. Suzanne Jounnet’s halter-neck black dress had a large opening to reveal her back, and Elodie Bouchez’ asymmetrical gown left out a shoulder and arm. Melvin Poupaud sported all black as well, in a knee-length double-breasted coat. Louise Aubery’s strapless mini dress was lined with the fun of feathers around the bottom of it. Monia Chokri wore a studded Armani dress, complete with Cartier Unda jewelry and striking silver nails.

Kim Higelin in Chanel (by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Marion Cotillard in Chanel (by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
Monia Chokri in Armani and Cartier (by to Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Many stars added touches of white to otherwise all-black attire, starting with host Laurie Cholewa’s 60s style dress and boot combo. Sandra Hüller’s sequin-covered ensemble by Louis Vuitton was cinched at the waist with a white belt, connected to her suit jacket. Pio Marmaï wore a traditional tuxedo-style suit by Louis Vuitton, minus a tie, but with the addition of wearing a Cartier watch & Cartier Juste un Clou broche and bracelet. Jean-Pascal Zadi wore a sharp, creamy-colored tuxedo jacket, paired with a black bow tie and pants. Maxime Saada, the chairman of the board of directors of Canal+ arrived in a velvet tuxedo-style suit, complete with a black bow tie.

The recipient of an honorary César this year for her sensational career amassing the most awards in the history of the ceremony, Agnes Jaoui, wore an elegant black dress a-top a white shirt, with a shoelace-style necklace completing the look. Director Catherine Breillat’s straight-cut white dress was detailed with three black buttons on its side. Around the waistline of Juliette Binoche’s floor-length strapless black dress was a white belt with a matching white shawl that wrapped around her shoulders and was tucked into it. While bold, the look exuded timeless class, especially styling the look with Cartier earrings and ring. Exuding a glamorous yet rock-and-roll spirit, Marion Cotillard’s new hairstyle paired perfectly with her Chanel white and strapless lace dress, complete with a dramatic black tulle train.

Diane Kruger in Simone Rocha’s guest collection for Jean Paul Gaultier (byPascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Céleste Brunquell in Givenchy (by Stephane Cardinale – Corbis/Getty Images)
Adèle Exarchopoulos in Coperni (by Stephane Cardinale – Corbis/Getty Images)

The stars dressed in color opted for monochromatic looks in neutral or pastel hues. Adèle Exarchopoulos, who took Best Supporting Actress, the first award of the night, wore a three-piece pinstripe suit by Coperni, the third piece being a sweetheart-cut bustier. Her look was completed with Bulgari sapphire jewelry. Lena Mahfouf, the host of the red carpet live, wore a shimmering gold corseted dress by Vivienne Westwood. Bérénice Bejo wore a pastel green-blue sequined mini dress under a longer, blue leather jacket. The look was completed with silver and gold strappy heels. Diane Kruger’s dress stood out—a pale pink, puffed dress with the details of deconstructed corsetry fresh from Simone Rocha’s guest collection for Jean Paul Gaultier, which showed in Paris Couture Week last month.Virginie Efira wore a Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello dress, long-sleeved, floor-length, and sparkling; and adorned in Cartier Tennis earrings and necklace & Cartier Reflection rings. Capucine Anav’s pastel yellow tweed set was paired with a gold YSL shoulder bag, worn as a clutch, and tan-colored Givenchy shark boots. Céleste Brunquell’s sheer Givenchy dress was patterned with delicate violet flowers and paired with graceful mesh gloves. While not many were seen in darker colors, Christopher Nolan, who accepted an honorary César Award, wore a traditional tuxedo, in a deep navy.

Editor Marie-Pauline Cesari