Bollywood queen Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has been a regular face at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival for the past thirteen years.
The former beauty queen who was appointed as the brand ambassador of L’Oreal in 2003 joined the likes of Eva Longoria, Andie MacDowell and Penelope Cruz in representing the international cosmetic company.
Apart from enjoying the title of being the first Indian actress to walk the Cannes red carpet, there has been a keen eye on Aishwarya Rai’s appearances at Cannes over the years. The actress has got both positive reviews and received flak for her not-so-great choices.
While, it still remains to be seen what Aishwarya Rai will don at the 67th Cannes film Festival this year, we look through some of her past fashion picks.
For her debut appearance at Cannes back in 2002, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan shimmered and shone in a stunning gold Neeta Lulla sari with rich gold jewellery. However, the following year was a huge fashion miss for Aishwarya. She donned a leaf-green sari, again by Neeta Lulla with a strappy printed blouse. A severe hairdo and inappropriate jewellery did little to salvage the look.
Another miss that year was a pink strapped top with a printed bottom which also spelled disaster. In 2004, Aishwarya looked like she had picked something out of Mallika Sherawat’s closet – a silver cutout gown by Neeta Lulla with a matching clutch.
The year after that, Aishwarya had much better luck on the red carpet. She wowed her fans and critics alike in a feminine, printed gown by Georgio Armani. But the sheer embellished black Gucci gown she wore that year simply blew us away.
2006 was also a good year for Aishwarya – she looked glamorous in a dark blue strapless gown.
2007 was the year that Aishwarya tied the knot to Abhishek Bachchan. So her dashing husband was her most-prized accessory that year on the Cannes red carpet. But Aishwarya too was gorgeous in a white strapless gown with a diamond-studded choker.
The following year was also a win-win for Aishwarya who walked the red carpet in envious gowns including a gold one, a stunning black and a bring pink satin evening dress.
Her appearance at Cannes in 2009 is till date considered as Aishwarya’s best ever red carpet appearance at the prestigious film festival. On Day 1 she wowed all with her floor-sweeping Roberto Cavalli strapless white gown. Day 2: Ash was stunning in a grey Elie Saab one-shoulder gown and slicked-back hair.
By 2010, Aishwarya Rai began to experiment with international designers for her red carpet looks. She showcased a stunning lavender mermaid cut gown by Elie Saab that year and a sexy strapless black dress by Armani Prive. However, our favourite pick from 2010, was a Sabyasachi sari with a green sleeveless blouse. She looked amazing!
2011 was the year that fashion diva Sonam Kapoor made her debut at Cannes. It was initially revealed that Sonam was to actually walk the red carpet in 2010. However, Aishwarya was not keen on sharing the limelight with another Bollywood beauty. It was her understanding that she was the international face of the company, while Sonam Kapoor would represent the Indian face.
Sonam Kapoor on her part was deeply upset on missing out her debut at the French Riviera. Not one to keep shut about her thoughts and feelings, the actress angrily retorted, “Aishwarya is an aunty from another generation.” But, Aishwarya on her part chose to maintain a dignified silence on the matter.
That year saw both the beauties competing for fashion reviews. It was no secret that Aishwarya had definitely upped her game in terms of her red carpet looks.
Her looks included a one-shoulder lace number Elie Saab, a geometric Armani Prive dress. A photo call during the day saw the actress looking relaxed in a brown Lanvin silk trench-dress.
Aishwarya Rai’s appearance at Cannes 2012 has been the toughest by far. The actress, who was carrying post-pregnancy weight after the birth of her daughter Aaradhya, was not spared from the harsh criticism on the red carpet.
She began 2012 at Cannes with a fashion disaster – Her cream chikankari Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla sari with an embroidered jacket was hated by many. But later, the new mom surprised everyone when she showed off her plus size figure in a midnight blue creation by Elie Saab. While some thought the beauty looked a bit uncomfortable, others argued that Aishwarya looked absolutely lovely.
She was also spotted on the terrace of her hotel in a bellowing Roberto Cavalli kaftan, which was appreciated by many.
Last year at Cannes, Aishwarya now much slimmer, wowed all with her choice of dresses. She looked gorgeous in a black and grey evening gown by Elie Saab for the premiere of ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’.
Next up was a one-shoulder teal Gucci Premiere gown. She added a pop of colour with her hot pink lips at the premiere of Behind the Candelabra and tied her hair.
But Aishwarya’s white Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla floor-length anarkali with colourful heavy embroidery was a fashion miss. Next she scored another fashion hit in an all black outfit – perfectly fitted trousers, shirt and waist coat that accentuated her curves for the portrait session at Cannes 2013.
Her mermaid cut black skirt with a white shirt for the interviews was liked by all.
Later, Aishwarya also showed off her Indian roots in a black Sabyasachi couture lehenga-sari for and a gold sari by Tarun Tahiliani for amfAR’s Cinema Against AIDS 2013 event in Antibes. The golden sari was Aishwarya’s worst dress at the Cannes red carpet – nothing from hair do to the golden blouse and net sari worked for the former Miss World.
We are now waiting with bated breath to see what will Aishwarya wear this year to the Cannes.