THE magic of cinema may be the reason why the world’s eyes are currently trained on the 71st Cannes Film Festival, but it’s also the allure of the red carpet razzmatazz and the couture clad celebrities that keeps fashion-watchers glued to the proceedings year after year. The festival that commenced on May 8 has had a slew of Hollywood’s best and Bollywood’s most stylish take to the carpet at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès. Here are some highlights:
Deepika Padukone can make a sackcloth look like couture, so it was surprising when she donned a sheer Zuhair Murad number for her debut Cannes appearance. Not because the outfit was nondescript, but because the caped gown was in the news recently for having been infamously copied by India’s own Manish Malhotra. But she more than made up for the uninspiring (pun intended) look with her second appearance in an Ashi Studio couture gown that screamed drama. The XXX: Return of Xander Cage star definitely hit the high notes with this one.
Her red carpet style is as non-traditional as her choice in film roles. So we weren’t surprised to see Kangana Ranaut make Cannes appearances in a distinctly retro-vibey Sabyasachi Mukherjee black sari, a sheer Zuhair Murad gown and a killer Nedret Taciroglu embellished jumpsuit. Her outfits were complimented by dramatic hairdos and impeccable makeup each time — all this without any cosmetic giant’s backing.
Walking the Walk
Among the 82 women film industry professionals, who walked the Cannes red carpet to protest against gender inequality, were Nandita Das and Manto actor Rasika Dugal. The duo walked hand-in-hand with names like Salma Hayek, Jane Fonda, Cate Blanchett and Kristen Stewart, among others. Das stood out in a molten copper Raw Mango sari and Dugal looked dignified in an
indigo Jade maxi dress. Style met substance on both counts.
Whether it was the ghastly parrot green sari she chose to wear in 2003, her post-pregnancy weight gain in 2012 or her purple lipstick in 2016 — Aishwarya Rai Bachchan becomes a national talking point each time she steps on to the red carpet at Cannes. This year too was no different, as Rai-Bachchan not only wore one of the most arresting outfits she has ever worn — a butterfly-esque purple Michael Cinco gown with a dramatic train — but also created serious mother-daughter goals with Aaradhya on Mother’s Day on Sunday. Rai-Bachchan strutted her stuff in the Cinco (which reportedly took 3,000 hours to make) and later a shimmery Rami Kadi, but not before she posed pretty with Aaradhya on each occasion. The former beauty queen not only looked ravishing, but her choice of outfits for fringe events — by Armani and Manish Arora — were totally on-point too.