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Khushboo Sharma

IWB Blogger

Fashion, Faux Pas, And The Rise Of The Indian Fashionista At Cannes

  • IWB Post
  •  May 22, 2019

Love it or hate it, you can’t really dismiss the fact that fashion is an indispensable part of one of the world’s largest film festivals i.e. Cannes. A huge uproar against it has been created on multiple occasions in the past, the 2015 high heel row being a particularly nasty one. However, despite the disdain, the black-tie dress code remains intact and the glamour quotient keeps rising every year at the French Riviera.

Say what you will, fashion remains integral to Cannes, there is no doing away with it, and why do we need to do that anyway? Isn’t style, like songs and movies, also a form of art? Well, at least, that’s how we approach the entire idea of fashion. Which brings us to our major concern here: Indian representation in the Cannes fashion department!

With just a handful of Indian movies which have made it to Cannes, the number of Indian women who have walked the red carpet at Cannes till date remains rather scanty. Among this handful of women, whoever walked the red carpet in the past has faced a lot of scrutiny (picture Mallika Sherawat’s Hisss days and Aishwarya Rai’s Provoked days at Cannes).

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However, if you think about it, it was just the beginning, the initial appearances were spent in deciding what the world wanted from the Indian diva and perhaps that’s where we went wrong. Aishwarya’s debut at Cannes in the golden Neeta Lulla saree and Deepika’s debut in the Rohit Bal white saree (again laden with tonnes of gold) proved exactly that. While many said we weren’t trying at all, I believe we were trying too hard.

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Image source a and b

We also went wrong when we thoughtlessly tried copying the West. Staying away from taking too many names, we all know there were a plethora of sad ball gown moments. However, credit should be given where the credit is due. Something changed with Sonam Kapoor’s 2011 debut at Cannes.

Sauntering in a Jean Paul Gaultier gown, Sonam was a sight to behold. Something had changed, her subsequent appearances at Cannes told us what it was: she was not trying too hard and she was not trying to be anyone else. Always a fashionista at heart, Sonam was herself and gave the Indian diva the key to rock the Cannes red carpet.


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Her looks evolved over the years along with her as a person as she sashayed with equal ease in both Anamika Khanna sarees as well as the Elie Saab assembles. While it was a hit and miss for many, her custom Ralph and Russo embroidered lehenga at Cannes 2018 right after her wedding for me epitomized the true spirit of Indian diva for me as well as her evolution as a fashionista on the red carpet.

Meanwhile, as Deepika continued to struggle with her sartorial choices, Kangana Ranaut turned the quirk up at Cannes with her debut in her embroidered catsuit from Nedo By Nedret Taciroglu last year, which truly exuded her feline energy.

She also showed us that it all lies in the styling as she took our breath away in a black sequinned Sabyasachi saree. Reminiscent of the old world Bollywood charm, her retro look reminded us of the quintessential Indian actress of the yore, thus becoming a hit for sure.

Take a look at this year’s Cannes red carpet looks and you will realise that we have surely come a long way. Luckily for us, most of the Cannes 2019 testify the same. How about we take a closer look?

Hina Khan

While Jitesh Pillai didn’t shy away from mocking Hina Khan’s debut at Cannes red carpet by calling it the reminiscent of “Chandivali studios”, we think it was a refreshing surprise. The fact that she also made it to some of the international best-dressed lists speaks for itself.

In that grey Ziad naked gown that flattered her body, flawless makeup, and all that confidence, Hina clearly made her presence registered in the most effortless way.

Guess who just made her debut at the #CannesFilmFestival2019? 😏 ** Views about her look? 👗 📸: @afashionistasdiaries . . . #cannesfilmfestival #hinakhan #cannes #cannesfilmfestival2018 #debut #gorgeous #beautiful #indiancelebrity #celebrity #love #idiva #idivapost

14.2k Likes, 202 Comments – iDiva (@idivaofficial) on Instagram: “Guess who just made her debut at the #CannesFilmFestival2019? 😏 ** Views about her look? 👗 📸:…”

Three cheers for this Alin Le’ Kal tulle gown with all its shimmer. Also, who can miss the thigh-high slit and that gorgeous smile? It’s a hit, we say!


435.7k Likes, 2,575 Comments – Hina Khan (@realhinakhan) on Instagram: “@festivaldecannes”

Deepika Padukone

To our pleasant surprise, Deepika also managed to amp up her style game this Cannes. If it was not for that over-sized bow which made it a little too much, there was hardly anything that could have been gone wrong with this look. Brownie points for the hair and makeup though!

Taaaaddaaaaa!!!🍾🥂 #Cannes2019 @lorealmakeup @lorealhair @lorealskin

1.8m Likes, 11.5k Comments – Deepika Padukone (@deepikapadukone) on Instagram: “Taaaaddaaaaa!!!🍾🥂 #Cannes2019 @lorealmakeup @lorealhair @lorealskin”

Deepika surprised us yet again with a rather risky Giambattista Valli Official lime green assemble and tonnes of flounce and ruffle. Oh Deepika, you almost did it. If only it weren’t for that turban.

Living a Lime Green Life…💥#Cannes2019 @giambattistavalliparis @lorraineschwartz @emilylondonheadwear @lorealmakeup @lorealhair @lorealskin

1.3m Likes, 5,479 Comments – Deepika Padukone (@deepikapadukone) on Instagram: “Living a Lime Green Life…💥#Cannes2019 @giambattistavalliparis @lorraineschwartz…”

Huma Qureshi

As we discuss ruffles, there are good ruffles and bad ruffles in the fashion world. For Huma Qureshi, it was some sort of confusing ruffles though. Tricky Gaurab Gupta Official dress, perhaps she could have gone easy on the ruffles but no denying that she looks like a diva with all that confidence. Also, the smile!

Very #gamesofthrones Feels 💃💃 #livevictoriously @greygoose @fetch_india @pankhurifetch Dress – @gauravguptaofficial Jewellery- @chopard Styled – @ayeshaaminnigam @shauryaathley Hair and makeup – @shaanmu 📷 – @greygoose @atrayeeduttagupta #greygooselife #cannes #2019 #Cannes2019

61.5k Likes, 224 Comments – Huma Qureshi (@iamhumaq) on Instagram: “Very #gamesofthrones Feels 💃💃 #livevictoriously @greygoose @fetch_india @pankhurifetch Dress -…”

But wait till you see this picture of Huma with Diana Penty. Isn’t there something about this picture that says India is ready to take on the red carpet at Cannes this year?

Your feed has been blessed by the collective beauty of @iamhumaq and @dianapenty. Aparampar sundarta and wisdom will come your way this week. . . . Tagged along with these apsaras to the red carpet and OMG the feels. Had a hot second to snap this. This is an appreciation post for maah laddddieees. This is the #greygooselife. #livevictoriously @pankhurifetch

56.5k Likes, 60 Comments – Kusha Kapila (@kushakapila) on Instagram: “Your feed has been blessed by the collective beauty of @iamhumaq and @dianapenty. Aparampar…”

Diana Penty

This NEDO by Nedret Taciroglu gown on Diana Penty is downright high fashion! Also, the woman looks like she means business and is not to be taken lightly at the red carpet. Hit!

Go big or go home! #Cannes2019 #DianaAtCannes #GreyGooseLife #LiveVictoriously #FauxFeather

71.6k Likes, 207 Comments – Diana Penty (@dianapenty) on Instagram: “Go big or go home! #Cannes2019 #DianaAtCannes #GreyGooseLife #LiveVictoriously #FauxFeather”

However, this off white ruffled saree gown by Amit Aggarwal is what has our hearts. Classy, elegant, and oh so chic!

Day 2 at Cannes for The FICCI Forum at The India Pavilion Saree: @amitaggarwalofficial Jewellery: @aquamarine_jewellery Shoes: @sergiorossi Styled by: @namitaalexander HMU: @marianna_mukuchyan Shot by: @frozenpixelstudios Project: @fetch_india Managed by: @ssubberman #DianaAtCannes #LiveVictoriously #GreyGooseLife #Cannes2019

120.1k Likes, 515 Comments – Diana Penty (@dianapenty) on Instagram: “Day 2 at Cannes for The FICCI Forum at The India Pavilion Saree: @amitaggarwalofficial Jewellery:…”

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan

Aishwarya seems to always struggle with her understanding of how much gold is too much gold. That’s a nice silhouette, flatters her body too, but all that gold somehow makes it feel unnatural.

With cutie pie 💖 #aaradhyabachchanatcannes2019 #aishwaryaraiatcannes2019 #aishwaryaraibachchan #cannesfilmfestival2019

144 Likes, 2 Comments – Aishwaryarai (@aishwaryarai_11) on Instagram: “With cutie pie 💖 #aaradhyabachchanatcannes2019 #aishwaryaraiatcannes2019 #aishwaryaraibachchan…”


Her dress 😍 #aishwaryaraiatcannes2019 #cannesfilmfestival2019 #goldmermaiddress #aishwaryaraibachchan #aaradhyabachchan

91 Likes, 0 Comments – Aishwaryarai (@aishwaryarai_11) on Instagram: “Her dress 😍 #aishwaryaraiatcannes2019 #cannesfilmfestival2019 #goldmermaiddress…”

This could have been a nice look but the makeup!

219.1k Likes, 959 Comments – AishwaryaRaiBachchan (@aishwaryaraibachchan_arb) on Instagram: “✨”

Kangana Ranaut

Kangana in this Falguni Shane Peacock corset and Madhurya Creations saree oozes a dramatic vibe. This is a tricky look and a very few can carry it off, especially with the vine gloves. As for Kangana, well, we will give it to her.

THE QUEEN HAS ARRIVED!! #Kangana arrives at #Cannes2019 in a custom @falgunishanepeacockindia corset, and Kanjeevaram sari by @madhurya_creations 👄👄👄 . . Hair: @alipirzadeh Makeup: @anilc68 styling: @stylebyami @shnoy09 Photo: @frozenpixelstudios Project: @pankhurifetch . . #KanganaAtCannes #LiveVictoriously #Greygooselife #Queenatcannes

110k Likes, 1,164 Comments – Kangana Ranaut (@team_kangana_ranaut) on Instagram: “THE QUEEN HAS ARRIVED!! #Kangana arrives at #Cannes2019 in a custom @falgunishanepeacockindia…”

Dreamy as it might seem, this MICHAEL CINCO Dubai gown is a rather safe choice for someone like Kangana. It makes for a good sight but Kangana could have done more.

On the carpet 👄👄 . . . . Gown: @michael5inco Jewels: @chopard Hair: @alipirzadeh Makeup: @anilc68 styling: @stylebyami @shnoy09 @mala_agnani Photo: @frozenpixelstudios Project: @pankhurifetch . . #KanganaAtCannes #LiveVictoriously #Greygooselife #Queenatcannes

44.1k Likes, 227 Comments – Kangana Ranaut (@team_kangana_ranaut) on Instagram: “On the carpet 👄👄 . . . . Gown: @michael5inco Jewels: @chopard Hair: @alipirzadeh Makeup: @anilc68…”

Priyanka Chopra

Okay, that’s a rather lukewarm red carpet look! Add to it the fact that it was Priyanka’s debut at Cannes and you will find it okay to call it disappointing, especially after her MET Gala appearance.

Cannes 2019 @red #5BFilm

899.4k Likes, 2,009 Comments – Priyanka Chopra Jonas (@priyankachopra) on Instagram: “Cannes 2019 @red #5BFilm”

Well, we will give Priyanka a little credit here as she recreates the white wedding vibe with her husband Nick Jonas.

Mon amour

1m Likes, 1,967 Comments – Priyanka Chopra Jonas (@priyankachopra) on Instagram: “Mon amour”

Sonam K Ahuja

This Ralph and Russo couture tuxedo is a look unlike any other. That flimsy trail just adds to the drama. Also, you can hardly miss that Chopard necklace. This look is everything, it is sharp, suave, and avant-garde! Kudos, Sonam!

In a custom @ralphandrusso couture tuxedo Jewellery by @chopard 👠 by @jimmychoo Styled by @rheakapoor Assisted by @manishamelwani & @vani2790 Hair by @bbhiral Make up by @artinayar 📸: @thehouseofpixels #chopardparfums #festivaldecannes #cannes2019 #SonamAtCannes

105.3k Likes, 358 Comments – Sonam K Ahuja (@sonamkapoor) on Instagram: “In a custom @ralphandrusso couture tuxedo Jewellery by @chopard 👠 by @jimmychoo Styled by…”

However, we wonder what went wrong when Sonam decided to go for this Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla number? Ummmm…but no!

For the @chopard #lanuitdesrois dinner party in @abujanisandeepkhosla

181.3k Likes, 576 Comments – Sonam K Ahuja (@sonamkapoor) on Instagram: “For the @chopard #lanuitdesrois dinner party in @abujanisandeepkhosla”

Thumbs up for this Elie Saab outfit though. Very Sonam, if we might say.

@eliesaabworld for press all day everyday..

263.1k Likes, 855 Comments – Sonam K Ahuja (@sonamkapoor) on Instagram: “@eliesaabworld for press all day everyday..”

Featured Image Source: Sonam Kapoor and Kangana Ranaut‘s Instagram




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