Come midsummer and all eyes are on the Festival de Cannes, more so for watching our movie-stars strut around on the plush red carpet in awe-inspiring ensembles than for movies themselves. So here goes my take on Bollywood’s sartorial performance at Cannes 2013.

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The Good

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Freida Pinto And Mallika Sherawat
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Freida Pinto And Mallika Sherawat

Although I’m not perfectly happy with the way Bollywood portrayed itself at Cannes this year round, there definitely were some enrapturing sites that literally worked at compensating for the lack of perfection elsewhere.

a)      Aishwarya Rai in her Regal Avatar

Beauty only gets better with time, and Bollywood’s yummiest mummy, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has testified the same. Her outfits were adorable, but what struck me the most was her form – the lit-up face, enhanced confidence, and of course the beautiful womanly figure that she has attained after having lost the excess kilos.

After I take my eyes off her natural beauty I arrive at my verdict of the clothes. The spectacular black gown by Elie Saab is by far my favorite pick among all the clothes that she donned on the red carpet.

I quite like the black Sabyasachi hybrid saree with heavy golden work; now if only the gaudy tiara was given a miss and the hair were let loose!

Another great dress that is only tad bit away from perfection is the Abu Jani & Sandeep Khosla anarkali gown. The intricate overall embroidery is impressive, so is the hair, clutch, and makeup, but I felt a slight lack of balance in the silhouette; a subtle empire line and a monochrome scarf draped around the arms could have done the trick.

The teal one-shoulder gown complemented by pink accents differs from ARB’s regular color choices and is surely a fresh change. Although she carries the bright shades well, I would still prefer watching her in the classic neutrals that she has been hitherto sticking to, eight days out of ten.

The look that made a truly lasting impression: White blouse and black fish-cut skirt with a train that the star wore to a media call. Ash looks so mesmerizing here that I can’t scroll away from the pictures for a considerable while!

b)      Freida Pinto Adorned to Perfection

A puff of fresh air, Freida Pinto has been the belle among Bollywood celebrities at the Cannes red carpets. She has put together excellent outfits; and the ease with which she carried them off gets her brownie points. The metallic gown by Sanchita is an awesome combination of bling added to a minimalistic silhouette. Shoes, accessories and makeup, not to mention, are perfectly in sync; the soft romantic hairdo sets the overall look to heavenly perfection.

The flowy pink halter neck gown is a good pick too, and is made even better by the ornate belt. A side fishtail braid might have complemented both, the contours of her face and the flow of her dress, better than a braided bun though.

c)       Mallika Sherawat’s Surprising Makeover

I look at a lady on the red carpet wearing an elegant gown and I stare in amazement: Is it really the same Indian actress who was, till then, infamous for displaying too much skin and too little elegance? Oh yes, it is! I love the Dolce and Gabanna gown for its Victorian air; loose hair, a dainty locket and subtle makeup truly bring out the best in her. Where were you hiding your charm all these years, Mallika?

The Bad

Amitabh Bachchan And Vidya-Balan
Amitabh Bachchan And Vidya Balan

a)      Amitabh Bachchan Getting High on Bling

We saw a medley of sorts in the fashion scene at Cannes, and the most saddening aspect of it all was Mr. Bachchan’s dressing errors. It is really tragic that the gentleman who is known for his suavity made such a great international mess as wearing a blingy tuxedo with a loud sequined bowtie.

The blue striped coat with a casually knotted belt, teamed with white trousers was no less of a disappointment. I mean, where is the KBC stunner of a host gone? How I wish he had dressed in his original avatar instead of going wild with experimentation!

b)       Vidya Balan’s Tryst with Tradition

Excess of anything is bad, be it bling or be it tradition. And Vidya Balan seems to have insinuated an excess of both these elements in her Cannes wardrobe.

The oversized nose ring and two heavy necklaces worn at once, to the premiere of “Jeune & Jolie”, make her look like a Maharashtrian fisherwoman.

What’s with the veil on her head? Despite being a supporter of unique, unprecedented fashion statements, I can just not come to terms with this one; for, appearing different is great, but doing silly stuff just to appear different is a grave folly.

The greatest culprit in Vidya Balan’s looks-diary de Cannes is the center-parted, slicked back hair that she is wearing in nearlyall appearances; it’s unfortunately working more on marring her natural beauty than enhancing it, and is also making her appear older than her years.

What on earth stopped Vidya from wearing one of her rich silk sarees with a peekaboo blouse and soft waves that frame her face so sensuously?

c)     Sonam Kapoor: The Impeccable Diva’s Disappointing Show

Sonam Kapoor was India’s answer to Hollywood’s best dressed celebrities, or so I used to think. The bubbly, young girl who was always impeccably dressed however minor the occasion may be, has committed a fashion tragedy second in line to Amitabh Bachchan: of going over-the-top.

The Cinderella dress, although it had a lovely silhouette, had a motif which is way too overpowering for a slightly built woman as Ms. Kapoor.

The Anamika Khanna white saree at the opening ceremony which was brilliantly styled with a regal cape is truly drool worthy; only as long as we don’t shift our eyes to Sonam’s face! Cat eyes, pronounced lips, excess blush, center-parted hair and the conspicuous nose ring are crashing violently with one another. The nose ring is marvelous per se, and the fashionista could have done the outfit and the trinket much greater justice if only she had done her face in subtle nude-golden shades.

The only flawless look is the street-length pink Elie Saab lace dress donned by Sonam Kapoor at the opening night dinner gala. This one is appropriate to both her age and personality.

Sonam Kapoor, Sherlyn Chopra And Vidya Balan
Sonam Kapoor, Sherlyn Chopra And Vidya Balan

The Ugly

Sherlyn Chopra and her Quintessential Exposure

Well, we won’t even talk of the skimpy black dress here. The white lehenga, although better by far than the previous day’s mishap, didn’t do much to win our praises. Oily skin and dark makeup work in an evil collaboration to make her appear dull. Sorry, Sherlyn, for the harsh review, but you left me with no other choice.

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