Monica Bellucci, who resembles a screen siren, only appears once in a lifetime. Bellucci tore onto the Italian film scene in the early 1990s with her bellissima looks (she previously modeled for Dolce & Gabbana and French Elle) and special sex appeal, following Michelangelo’s footsteps Antonioni’s brooding bombshells and Frederico Fellini’s femme fatales.
From her early days in arthouse cinema to her current role as a regular on the Dior fashion show, Bellucci has remained steadfastly loyal to a wardrobe that would not look weird on the set of La Dolce Vita: fishtail gowns with lace, diamonds, daring necklines, and lots and lots of black. It’s easy to see why: it all works to highlight Bellucci’s bombshell proportions and sultry beauty.
Learn more about Monica Belluci’s fashion style, and later, Heidi Klum, another film and fashion icon.
The Most Iconic Outfits of Monica Bellucci
Bellucci brings a smoldering intensity, and no holds barred dedication to her craft, whether she’s playing the wrongfully-scorned titular Malèna, the witty ingénue in L’appartement, or the heroine of Gaspar Noé’s utterly harrowing Irréversible. Here, we trace Bellucci’s inimitable style through a collection of her most iconic looks.
The 1900s, With Valentino
Bellucci started her career as a model, featuring in campaigns and walking for several of her native Italy’s most prestigious fashion houses before becoming the lauded actress she is today. Bellucci, who embodied the allure of classic Italian screen sirens such as Monica Vitti, Sophia Loren, and Claudia Cardinale, became a modern-day muse for Dolce & Gabbana, Valentino Garavani, and Gianni Versace.
She accompanied Valentino in the early 1990s, wearing his signature (and very Bellucci-esque) bustier evening gowns. Bellucci continues to influence these historic houses well into the twenty-first century.
1991, La Riffa
You’ve probably seen this look before if you follow any Instagram mood board worth its salt. It’s the look that single-handedly started the puffy headband trend. The look is inspired by Bellucci’s debut film, La Riffa, in which she plays the young widow Francesca.
And Bellucci’s famous taupe satin headband is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the polished early-90s looks she pulls in the film: soft shearling jackets, slip dresses with crystal-embellished straps, silk scrunchies, shoulder suits of all kinds, and fluid trench coats (learn how to style trench coats with this ultimate guide!).
1997, The Cannes Film Festival
Monica Bellucci poses dramatically at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival while a stylist embellishes her neck with a massive diamond choker. It was a moment that established and continues to establish Bellucci’s signature style of utter glamour and extravagance.
1997, The Dobermann Premiere
View this post on Instagram
This is among those, as mentioned earlier, Bellucci-signature slinky evening gowns. Detailing on the bustier? Check. As dark as the night? Straps that are barely there? Check and double-check. This one is of the highly sought-after 90s minimalist variety. The chain-link straps and the simple silhouette are stunning.
Bellucci is probably best known in the United States for her role as Persephone in Lilly and Lana Wachowski’s The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions. Costume designer Kym Barrett went all out for Bellucci’s on-set wardrobe, as she did for the rest of the trilogy’s incredible outfitting (think Neo’s billowing trench and Trinity’s zipped catsuit). Persephone’s most iconic look is arguably Bellucci’s: a near-sheer latex peplum dress embodying both the character’s artificiality and grace.
2000, The Premiere of All the Pretty Horses
While Bellucci’s style is most often associated with her classic bombshell dresses, the actress is also fond of a suiting moment: m en’s shirting, preferably with a black and lacy underpinning. The actress dressed up her signature look for All the Pretty Horses’ red carpet opening night, with a plunging neckline and oversized French cuffs paired with a satin-trimmed tuxedo blazer.
2004, The Cannes Film Festival
Bellucci wore a floral chiffon dress to the 2004 Cannes Film Festival, a departure from her usual moody (read: all black) ensembles. What was the occasion? To commemorate Gaspard Noé’s horrifying and harrowing arthouse drama Irreversible’s nomination. Perhaps the look was worn as a nod to the film’s final, hopeful-hopeless shot: the actress as Alex, carefree, reading a book on a bright orange beach towel while wearing a flowery sundress.
Monica Bellucci’s Fashion Evolution
View this post on Instagram
Monica Bellucci is among the few actresses whose style has remained consistent over time. Monica appears to have identified her strengths early in her career and learned to capitalize on them. And she may be one of the few women who has always dressed well and appropriately for her age.
Even at the start of her stellar career, this woman knew lots about picking clothes, masterfully highlighting virtues, and deftly concealing flaws, and she was always in the spotlight. And the dress with an attractive neckline and open shoulders has almost become the rising movie star and supermodel’s signature. Pantsuits with a unique neckline were not an exception.
Light feminine dresses gave way in the blink of an eye to elegant underwear that became an element of outerwear, adding a spicy flair to an already glamorous woman during this period. But the huge jewelry that Bellucci wore at any reasonable time, with or without, remained unaltered.
Monica’s image and style were similar to those of the nineties at the start of the 2000s. She still preferred black, whether it was a suit, a dress, or a blouse with a skirt, but red outfits, diluted with invariably massive jewelry, began to flicker in her arsenal.
Monica Bellucci was pictured in a black dress with an undoubtedly open neckline from Dolce & Gabbana at the Rome Film Festival in 2007. Still, at the 2014 Met Gala, Senora Bellucci was accompanied by Roberto Bolle in the same Dolce & Gabbana red mantle.
A tight evening gown is a must-have in the actress’s wardrobe. However, if some of her visuals raised eyebrows in the early 2000s due to overly revealing cutouts, you cannot blame her for this in recent years.
Another item that Monica cannot imagine her life without is an elegant suit, which she prefers to wear with a vest or linen-style top. She wore outfits similar to those in 1985, 2002, and 2016.
When you look at her nowadays, you can tell she doesn’t need to prove anything. She kept her love of lace, Italian chic, and form-fitting silhouettes. Her images, on the whole, have become more harmonious and restrained.
Following her appearance on the Dior show with a bob haircut, the actress has been increasingly seen in classic trouser suits and plain closed dresses to the floor, complemented by huge sunglasses.