“Glowing sun, shimmering cerulean water, brilliant films, and eccentric fashion” – the 72nd Edition of the prestigious Cannes Film Festival recently ended at Boulevard de la Croisette with jury president Alejandro González Iñárritu along with a stream of revered celebrities from across the globe gracing the red carpet.

With more than 1900 films from across the world officially selected, it so happened that no film from the Indian subcontinent made it to the competition categories at the festival this year apart from a bunch of short films. However, Indian celebrities were present representing different brands at Cannes and their looks were breaking the internet. Media did scrutinize what the leading ladies of the Indian Cinema wore to the red carpet but all in reverence. Gongs of praises were struck with each look that surfaced on Instagram. Maximalism to Minimalism, we saw it all; however, most accolades went to the over-the-top- looks in the name of experimental and bold.

Have the extravagant events like Cannes Film Festival and Filmfare become an avenue for donning over-the-top outfits so that you can be talked about? Create a digital stir?

Stir then, we shall …

Cannes Film Festival, this year, saw our Indian celebrities go outrageous with their sartorial choices and styling as they represented brands like Chopard, Loreal, Grey Goose, and Estee Lauder. Each one with one-point agenda – to reign as the supreme style queen of India while flaunting the Indian heritage on their sleeve. Some experiments turned class apart whereas others will be remembered in the annals of history as the heights of outrageous ugly fashion that inspired Indian stylists. Yes stylists, because we believe they can make or break the look. It’s their efficiency that matters in understanding the theme of the occasion, the style of the celebrity, ongoing trends and the overall image that they want to project.

Earlier seen at Spring/Summer 2019 catwalk shows in the collections of designers like Carolina Herrera, Altuzarra, Tory Burch, Miu Miu, Marc Jacobs, Moschino, Emilia Wickstead, 2019’s biggest fashion trend – ‘Bows’ and a 50’s major trend just went from being delicate to dramatic at French Riviera’s red carpet. On the other hand, the fur and feather blend just cannot be overlooked. Creating a statement whilst drawing an image of a costume party, Indian celebrities went overboard with their fur and feather ensembles at the festival.

After all, India had to make a mark. If not in Cinema, then in Fashion.

  • Deepika Padukone

Taking cues from her better half who is the true-blue dandy of the Indian film industry, Deepika Padukone decided to redeem herself for her dubious choice of clothes at MetGala. The only problem, her stylist got the themes mixed.

For her first appearance at Cannes, Deepika opted for a dramatic chocolate brown and white gown by Peter Dundas detailed with an enormous side bow, plunging neckline and a long trail that was experimental. Her Samurai inspired hairstyle and dramatic eye makeup was worthy of MetGala appreciation, not Cannes though.

On her second day at the festival, she kept the look minimal and elegant by adorning a sheer white lace top with a striped Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini pants. Her pant-suit-look with neon pumps gave us back the Deepika that we know of.  Later that day for the screening of Dolor Y Gloria, the L’Oreal ambassador went on to look like a Disney furball by donning a lime green Giambattista Valli ruffled gown and a baby pink turban. It was certainly not the outfit you wear to be remembered but definitely the one that fashion police will keep talking about years after; of what not to wear at Cannes.

  • Aishwarya Rai

A regular at the Cannes Film Festival, the former Miss World appeared on the red carpet as if headed to a costume party in a metallic golden fish cut couture gown by Jean – Louis Sabaji. Praise comes naturally when its Desi Bollywood stars representing our country on a global platform, doesn’t it?  Even if it may be to follow the mass opinion.

Having attended Cannes year after year, Ms. Rai has identified the global aesthetics pretty well as compared to her new contemporaries. Known for opting for bizarre sartorial trends and making headlines with her purple lipstick in past years, Aishwarya went a tad ahead with her beauty overdo as she posted her picture in a metallic blue wire worked Rimzim Dadu ensemble. After defying the copy of Sonam Kapoor’s similar look at Cannes last year, stylist Astha Sharma has failed to produce a full length of the image as yet.

For the screening of La Belle Epoque, she showed up wearing a ruffled white gown with feather cape by Ashi Studio giving a larger than life look with smokey eyes and a hint of white liner.  Hollywood glamour much! The look would be remembered in the history as an ode to the aspirational Hollywood glamour tried by Bollywood divas.

  • Kangana Ranaut

Queen is slaying it. With these and many other self-proclaimed urban colloquial ‘Queen’ quotes, Kangana Ranaut definitely tried too hard at styling her own garments. It has been reported that Kangana designed her outfits herself with celebrated designer Falguni Shane Peacock. No wonder decades, styles and cultures collide as an after effect of this design collaboration. If only they would have stopped at teaming the classic Kanjeevaram saree with the Victorian era influenced corset, things would have been memorable. The wine gloves and 20’s hairstyle seemed like a cross over of a Tamil Queen with a Victorian debutante princess.

Did she slay it? Oh well…

Her ‘wet and wild’ look for the Greygoose party reminded one of Kangana’s earlier days in Bollywood when she was trying to stand out. Known for picking up unconventional outfits for the red carpet, Kangana chose a minimal one –shoulder all-white gown by designer Toni Maticevski as she attended Chopard’s party. This was finally one of her elegant and sophisticated looks that seemed effortless.

  • Priyanka Chopra

For her first- ever red-carpet appearance at Cannes representing Chopard, Priyanka Chopra Jonas adorned a custom- made shimmery black and red high slit couture gown designed by Roberto Cavalli. She is one of those Indian actresses who got her styling apt for the occasions. Timeless, glamorous and understated elegance.

For the Les Plus Belles Annees d’une Vie premiere, Priyanka wore a dreamy white, tulle strapless gown by Georges Hobeika gown from the brand’s spring 2020 bridal collection and she looked nothing less than a modern-day bride keeping her look minimal and classy. She turned heads at the Chopard party wearing lavender Fendi dress that resembled a mermaid with the fish scale detailing. Her ice-blue dress with lace belt, pearls, and white hat indeed took one to the uptown French Riviera.

Does international exposure to different designers and stylist give you a better-coordinated look?  All her looks felt effortless as opposed to her peers in Bollywood where everything looked too Christmassy!

  • Sonam Kapoor

A Cannes regular, Sonam Kapoor, for her formal appearance at the French Riviera, chose to adorn an oversized cherry- red ruffled gown by Italian luxury fashion house Valentino with minimal makeup and fresh flowers to perfectly accentuate the vibe of the moment. Her sister and stylist Rhea Kapoor captures the global trends and essence like no one else in Bollywood. Chopard’s launch of its latest parfums became the starting point of her styling process for Sonam this year.

For Chopard’s regal party – Night of the Kings, Sonam turned into a royal Indian princess in an ornate off-white saree gown with a cascading cape designed by Mumbai designer duo- Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla.  If one didn’t know the theme, the dressing would have seemed rather costumey. However, the veil and extra sleeve detailing made it rather exaggerated in memory.

Sonam, for her final appearance at the French Riviera’s red carpet opted a pristine white tailored tuxedo by London based designer duo Ralph and Russo adorned with emeralds from Chopard. She embodied today’s modern woman who is not only suave and chic but also doubles up as a femme fatale.

  • Diana Penty

Debutant and Estee Lauder ambassador kept her look subdued by donning a fringed salmon-nude gown by Nedret Taciroglu. Detailed with intricate embellishments and feathers, Diana kept her look minimal with the dainty diamond jewelry. The cocktail actress added a traditional touch by draping a striking ivory saree with customized butterfly wings designed by Delhi based designer Amit Aggarwal as she attended the FICCI forum at the festival’s India Pavilion. Not bad at all for a debutant, we say.

Right from walking through the glistening lights and posing on the red carpet for the awe-struck paparazzi, the arrival of stars for the Gala session truly has been a ritual with the festival’s dress code- often respected, sometimes subverted, but always guaranteed to be the ‘talk’ around the globe.

With most of them missing but two hits (Sonam and Priyanka), Cannes 2019 looks were rather a dreary affair despite the media, bloggers and stylist’s brouhaha.

Either their looks were downright terrible or were just about barely there; however, Bollywood reverence prevailed. Indian Stylists need to do their homework properly yet, don’t you agree?

October 21, 2022 — CICERONI TEAM

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