Alessandra Ambrosio can feel the energy of the Cannes Film Festival’s iconic red carpet before her stilettos touch ground.

“The carpet experience starts before you even arrive at the Palais,” the Cannes veteran tells The Hollywood Reporter. “Driving down the Croisette can be a bit hectic, but as soon as you hit the carpet, you get the adrenalin rush, and it feels like you are in a dream.”

The fantasy has been real for the supermodel from Brazil for more than a decade. Ahead of her return this year, Ambrosio dished details on some of her head-turning looks, how it feels to face the crush of photographers and her favorite spot to lounge by the pool.

How do you adjust your style strategy for the Cannes red carpet versus an event elsewhere in the world?

To me, Cannes Film Festival is all about glamour. My main inspirations when thinking of what to wear for the festival are my favorite fashion icons Sophia Loren, Brigitte Bardot, Grace Kelly and Elizabeth Taylor, but I always add my own twist on the look. It is one of the only places where you can go big or classic, as well as experiment with colors, details and unique designs.

You have attended major events across the world, how does Cannes compare?

This is the ultimate film festival. I just love how charming the French Riviera is. When you mix that charm with amazing films and people from all over the world, it creates an unforgettable experience.

How would you describe the feeling you get when you are standing there facing the crush of photographers in front of the Palais?

I feel that the carpet experience starts before you even arrive at the Palais. Driving down the Croisette can be a bit hectic, but as soon as you hit the carpet you get the adrenalin rush and it feels like you are in a dream.

Do you have a favorite Cannes spot to sneak away to during the festival?

Hotel du Cap is just magical and one of a kind. I love to have lunch or lay by the pool there at least a couple of times during my stay in Cannes.

Alessandra Ambrosio, in 2019, wearing Julien Macondald with Boucheron jewels.
Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images

“The funny thing about this dress is that I was supposed to wear a different dress to this carpet but this stunning custom Julien Macdonald arrived two hours before the carpet and as soon as I saw it, I immediately fell in love and knew I had to wear it. Red is always perfect for the red carpet.”

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Alessandra Ambrosio, in 2014, wearing Versace.
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“Versace, Versace, Versace. The color, hourglass shape and all the beads are a perfect combination to feeling sexy, confident and strong while on the Cannes Film Festival red carpet.”

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Alessandra Ambrosio, in 2018, in Zuhair Murad with Boucheron jewelry.
Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

“This is a perfect princess dress that you can only wear in Cannes. I love the color, the details and the train.”

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Alessandra Ambrosio, in 2013, wearing Roberto Cavalli.
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“I have always been drawn to metallic dresses, and this Roberto Cavalli was no exception. Even though this is probably the most-closed dress I have worn at the festival, it was just so stunning as it reflected the flash from photographers’ cameras, so every picture looked like I was wearing a different gown.”

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Alessandra Ambrosio, in 2018, in Tommy Hilfiger.
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“Adding color to the carpet is so much fun. I always loved seeing pictures of my mom dressed up wearing bold colors and classic shapes, so I created my own version of her classic style for this carpet.”

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Alessandra Ambrosio, in 2019 in Ralph & Russo with Boucheron jewelry and shoes by Rene Caovilla.
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

“I love wearing white on the carpet, and I just loved how flowy and light this dress was.  It was very ethereal and that is what attracted me to it.”

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Alessandra Ambrosio, in 2018, wearing Zuhair Murad with a de Grisogono necklace.
Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

“I have worn Zuhair Murad multiple times on the carpet before and have always felt like a princess, but what I loved about this dress were all the details. You can’t see it in this picture, but the back of the dress was open, so I decided to wear a long de Grisogono necklace backward, which gave the look some additional edge.”

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