Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Cape Carnival

From caped crusaders and Chopard diamonds to barefoot divas and stylish couple capers — the haute couture highlights from the red carpet of the 69th annual Cannes Film Festival

Written by Kimi Dangor |
May 18, 2016 12:20:47 am
Indian actress Sonam Kapoor arrives on red carpet for the screening of the film "Mal de pierres" (From the Land of the Moon) in competition at the 69th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, May 15, 2016. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier Indian actress Sonam Kapoor arrives on red carpet for the screening of the film “Mal de pierres” (From the Land of the Moon) in competition at the 69th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, May 15, 2016. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier

ON MAY 13, when she stepped out in a nude and gold Ali Younes gown, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was celebrating 15 years of making appearances on the Cannes Film Festival red carpet as brand ambassador for L’Oreal Paris. This possibly also marked a milestone for when the Indian mainstream media woke up to the allure of the Cannes fashion carnival and the umpteen photo opportunities it provided. Since then, every filmmaker worth his festival credentials and most actors with an alternative film on their repertoire have climbed the hallowed Palais des Festivals steps in Cannes, France. But Rai Bachchan and fellow L’Oreal Paris brand ambassador Sonam Kapoor are the ones that grab the most eyeballs, column space and social media smatter back home.

And this year has been no different as the former Miss World and the Khoobsurat actor rolled out some serious sartorial swag. The red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival 2016 was not short of drama and flair. Here is our pick of the highlights from the past week at the style soiree.

Couple Entry

Amal and George Clooney were the cynosure of all eyes at the premiere of Money Monster. Even as the superstar kept it suave in a formal tuxedo, the human rights lawyer cut quite an enticing figure in a pale yellow Atelier Versace gown and Jimmy Choo heels. Is it any wonder that the #couplegoals hashtag started trending minutes after their tandem appearance?

Good as Gold

After a none too flattering outing in the Ali Younes caped gown, Rai Bachchan hit her stride in another shimmery nude number by Elie Saab (pictured, left) and gave us quite the vintage turn in Veronica Lake retro waves and a dark red lip. But that very bold lipper move — this time in a bright lavender — proved to be the undoing of her final red carpet appearance in a gorgeous Rami Kadi number. Yes, it was a head-turning moment, but one that not only didn’t flatter her complexion but also drew the eye away from that beautiful off-shoulder pastel gown she wore. Given her past polarizing appearances at Cannes, this was a performance where Rai Bachchan and stylist Aastha Sharma struck a delicate balance between playing it safe and striking out.

Sibling Revelry

In the six years since she debuted at Cannes, Sonam Kapoor and stylist-producer sister Rhea have proved time and again what an invincible team they are. Kapoor slayed with two back-to-back red carpet appearances in caped gowns by British fashion label Ralph & Russo. Not just that, the peplum dress she wore for press interviews and the black lace number she donned for a Chopard party were also Ralph & Russo ensembles. And while we did feel cheated by the lack of variety in designer names and sameness of colour palette, there’s no denying that Kapoor’s looks were impeccably styled and crafted. She did assuage our demand for Indian designers by wearing Anamika Khanna, Rimzim Dadu and Urvashi Kaur for press interactions and photo calls. Here’s one sister act we’ll be keenly following in the years to come.

Trend Talk

Where there were stars, could shimmery diamonds be far behind? Everyone from Naomi Watts, Julia Roberts and Rai Bachchan to Jessica Chastain and Sonam Kapoor wore statement neck-pieces that were the highlight of their ensembles. Androgyny was another aspect the stars dabbled in as Victoria Beckham wore a monochrome tuxedo-inspired jumpsuit and Eva Longoria sported a power suit. Roberts played up pinstripes and Susan Sarandon wore a Saint Laurent tuxedo and then a tuxedo gown for good measure.

Foot Fall

By far our favourite red carpet moment was seeing America’s sweetheart Julia Roberts not only make her Cannes debut, but make one that sought to defy all conventions. The star of Money Monster walked the red carpet barefoot, heels in hand, making quite a statement in an Armani Privé gown and a Chopard diamond and emerald neck-piece, very reminiscent of her memorable Pretty Woman look. This act of “fashion rebellion” as Vanity Fair called it, came after festival organisers had allegedly turned away a group of women from a screening of Carol for not wearing high heels last year. The day before, a peroxide blonde Kristen Stewart slashed her Chanel t-shirt to crop-top length and joined the ‘Barefoot at Cannes’ club when she shed her Louboutins half way through a photocall event.

Pregnant Pause

Café Society star Blake Lively has made umpteen flawless red carpet appearances at Cannes this year, all perfectly complementing her growing baby bump and pregnancy glow. From a racy red Juan Carlos Obando jumpsuit and a Cinderella-like Vivienne Westwood gown, to an ethereal blue Atelier Versace ensemble and a Versace bodycon dress, the Gossip Girl actor was so well dressed that we think she could very well author a book called ‘What to Expect on the Red Carpet when You’re Expecting’.

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