Split personality on the red carpet
Bollywood divas need to stop swinging wildly between the most boring and the most sensational looks at the Cannes Film Festival
IT’S ALMOST a case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde for Indian actresses at the Cannes red carpet. It might be something in the air of the French Riviera, or the blueness of the Côte d'Azur that throws them off. For even the loveliest of our divas fall prey to fashion faux pas at the one time when the entire worlds eyes are upon them.
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, a seasoned attendee of the prestigious film festival swung between style extremes at the festival this year. On the one hand, a dazzling butterfly inspired gown by Filipino designer Michael Cinco ensured that she was the belle of the French ball. She floated upon the red runway, effortlessly overshadowing the actresses of the world before and after her. What a delight it was to see her, Aish’s hourglass figure brought to life the exotic dress, its 20-foot trail made a sweeping statement, and her mane and pout commanded attention with the confidence of a woman who knows she looks gorgeous.
So why she would choose to wear one of the Manish Arora’s dowdiest creations for an official photo shoot is anyone’s guess. The off-shoulder maxi in pastel blue looked as washed out as her make-up. I wouldn’t entirely fault the designer here — Arora has one of the most fertile imaginations in kitschy clothing. In that case, it begs the question, whodunnit? Either Aish or her stylist played fashion tricks with this choice, but truth be told, we’re unnecessarily confused.
This hot and cold style wasn’t restricted to her alone. Let’s take a look at Deepika Padukone. Her first day on the red carpet featured possibly one of the most predictable looks — a cascading white and nude gown by Zuhair Murad, with a sexy plunging neckline and cape trail, vintage waves and nude lipstick. Oh well. All one can say is that the look was safe and something she should be sorry for, to reverse the adage.
The universe must have found a way to convey this sentiment to Padukone, for the next day she (over) compensated for it with a funky fuschia pink, origamipleated couture gown by Ashi Studio. Dramatic to its last stitch, she wore the gown like a pro, and the deep pink pointed heels and Columbian emerald earrings by Lorraine Schwartz were the cherry on the stylish icing. But to stick her tongue out at the unsuspecting photographers like that? I’m reminded of a photograph of Prince Harry with Lady Diana, where he pulled-off a similar stunt in his early years. It was cute then, and everyone smiled. This is quite the opposite, and I can’t make head or tail of it.
NO, DEEPIKA. You may have cleaned your tongue a hundred times over, but this is not the way one gets noticed across the globe. Play around with your personal style instead, next time?
How can a review of Cannes fashion be complete without a look at Sonam Kapoor Ahuja. The newly-wed had made her red carpet debut post-marriage at the event, and ever her mehendi hadn’t come off till then. One couldn’t be happier for the gushing bride, she was all-smiles at the show. But to wear what resembled a lehenga by Ralph & Russo, or a disproportionate dress by Delpozo is not what is expected from a fashion authority of her stature.
You see, one has seen the actress in dressier styles for local events in Mumbai, and been taken aback by their flamboyance, given how the events were held some two streets away from her home. The choice of garments at Cannes was almost lacklustre in comparison, unmemorable to say the least.
Dear Bollywood ladies at the Cannes red carpet. We understand your desire to look your best at the festival. However, we cannot understand what confuses you so much about the its dress code.
We are quite certain it has nothing to do with the iconic movie Seeta Aur Geeta. Do us a favour, and try showing some consistency in choice, style and standards. Our weak hearts can no longer handle the roller coaster ride that your fashion choices put us through.
Mind your tongue: Deepika Padukone wore a funky fuchsia gown by Ashi Studio (left) on one day, and a predictable cape gown by Zuhair Murad (right) on the other. The hairstyle was changed to match each outfit.
The newlywed Sonam Kapoor Ahuja.