June 2|2009


With her first appearance at the Cannes Film Festival in 2002 which was nothing short of a fashion disaster, even years later the Bollywood Queen Aishwarya Rai`s walk of poise and elan at the ongoing French festival has left the Indian fashion fraternity raving.

Despite the bevy of Hollywood A-listers gracing the event, Aishwarya proved to be a head turner. Her choice of an elegant white off-shoulder Roberto Cavalli train gown teamed with a neatly tied bun and simple pearl drop earrings besides a Swarovski box clutch and red peep-toes was a sureshot hit. And a complete throw away from the jarring green sari she wore to the event in 2002, say designers.”She (Aishwarya) carried the gown really well and looked beautiful. She has great presence that fits her perfectly in the international fashion circuit. She carried off that gown with confidence and walked the red carpet with aplomb,” fashion designer Amit GT, famous for his couture gowns, told reporters.

“A lot of people had criticised her when she made her debut at Cannes but hits and misses are a part of life and this time she has proved fashion critics wrong with her impeccable dressing sense,” he added.

According to designer Raakesh Agarvwal, also known for creating elaborate gowns, it was Aishwarya`s stylist who was to be blamed for her fashion faux pas and not her.

“When she was criticised for her bad dressing sense at Cannes, the person who should have been blamed was her stylist. But I guess now she has learnt the tricks of the trade and is doing really well. It`s important to know how to behave with your clothes on the red carpet,” he said.

For designer Abdul Halder, Aishwarya, whose dress would have cost nothing less than Rs5 million as per industry estimates, looked as though she was wearing a “wedding gown minus the veil”.

Though the beauty queen-turned-actress exhibited marked improvement in her dressing sense with differently styled gowns at the event every subsequent year post-2002, she scored a perfect 10 with her attire this year. But her appeal at the event was not just restricted to her clothes, said Agarvwal.

“Walking on a red carpet is an art and you can say that she has mastered the art over the period of seven years. Posing rightly for the camera, maintaining eye contact, topped up with a perfect smile is what makes the best red carpet look. One has to learn all these things and then you can look glamorous in anything - that`s what Aishwarya has done,” he said.

Aishwarya, a regular at the Cannes Film Festival red carpet and L`Oreal brand ambassador, is beginning to reinvent not only her wardrobe but herself too on the global scene.

This year she was at the Cannes as an activist for social and humanitarian causes by lending her name to the International Tribunes Cinema Verite. The Bollywood diva addressed a press conference along with Queen Noor of Jordan Thursday to announce the third edition of the event that will take place later this year in Geneva (Oct 6 to and Paris (Oct 9-10).

Cinema Verite is a special event dedicated to films and social actions that promote human rights and the eight Millennium Development Goals adopted by the UN.