It seems that ever since India’s most fashionable starlet Sonam Kapoor started attending Cannes Film Festival on behalf of L’oreal Paris all the Bollywood beauties have really upped their game when it comes to red carpet looks, and Cannes 2013 was no exception. With their stylists working overtime, and hair and makeup teams in tow Aishwariya Rai, Sonam Kapoor, Vidya Balan, Frieda Pinto, Nandita Das, Malika Sherawat, and Ameesha Patel amongst others landed in the French Riviera this week and wowed with their media appearances. Some got rave reviews and some not so much. I’m recapping some of the ladies who’s looks I love to follow and sharing my hits and misses. As always, I’m playing nice and only talking about the clothes and styling here – no judging the ladies inside the dress!
Sonam Kapoor –
Without a doubt, Sonam Kapoor is India’s style darling. What I adore about her is that she gives credit where credit is due. Always giving a shout out to her designers and stylists, she makes it clear that her looks are a team effort. I love that Sonam takes her looks all the way, thinking about her styling from head to toe. Take for example her look at the Great Gatsby premier – the lace Anamika Khanna sari and matching coat are Indian, but not in a an ‘in your face way, it was paired with one single statement piece that is very Indian; the nathni. Understanding that the facial jewellery would draw lots of attention and close-up shots her makeup was dramatic and heavy paired with an updo. Generally speaking, dramatic eyes go well with hair pulled up, unless it’s too severe of a do.
Other looks I loved from Sonam were the Cinderella dress and the pink floral dress, both by Dolce & Gabbana. With each of these looks she also played with her hair and tried both curly and straight, what a difference that can make! What can we learn from Sonam? Change things up, try different hair styles and silhouettes of dresses, and think about your look from head to toe. Oh and in case you are wondering, even superstar fashionista’s make mistakes sometimes, what was Sonam thinking when she wore the lace Shehla Khan outfit to the Chopard event?
Aishwariya Rai –
I really wanted Aishwariya to knock it out of the park this year; she deserved the praise after the not so great reviews she got last year – unfortunately, her looks were just so-so. I’ve always felt that Aishwariya just doesn’t have a styling team that gets her. Quite often her looks come across disjointed, and she doesn’t seem all that comfortable in some looks. While I did like the Abu Sandeep anarkali, and the gold Tarun Tahiliani sari, I felt the first look needed brighter lips and the later hairdo was very 1990’s prom queen (in fact I think it’s the do that Ash sported when she won the Miss World crown in 1994).
The real disappaointment for me though was the green Gucci Premiere gown with the sever updo. This was a time that lose flowy hair might have been able to save a look, but the Marge Simpson inspired do just killed it. A successful red carpet look has to match the atmosphere of the event, suit the person wearing it, and tell a story; sadly Mrs. Bachchan rarely nails all three. The look that she has covered though – doting momma. This picture was captured away from the glitz of the red carpet at Cannes and is hands down my favourite!
Vidya clearly has a soft spot for Sabyasachi and she is sticking with his styling. I guess you can’t fault her for it, in her pre-Sabya days she was always on the worst dressed list, and constantly called out for poor sartorial choices, these days though she is a fashionista in her own right. A lot of fashion writers have called Vidya out for wearing the same type of look over and over (signature Sabyasachi sari), but I think if you’ve figured out a style that works for you and you are comfortable in it, stick with it! Vidya has a pear shaped figure and some awesome curves, and well draped saris really highlight that.
I loved the fact that she was playing a little with accessories (hello nathni) and makeup quite a bit, but I really wish she had worn her hair down at least once. Maybe instead of the out of place dupatta at the Great Gatsby premier she could have done long flowy waves and a pasa? Has anyone heard if Vidya’s hiring a stylist….I’d be happy to apply!
An outstanding actress and frequent fixture on the international film festival circuit, I feel Nandita doesn’t get her share of the accolades for her standout personal style. While her looks are generally toned down, and her makeup and hair is very simple – she definitely has style and grace.
What I love about Nandita’s outfits is how comfortable she seems in them, there is never a look that feels forced. She doesn’t wear big name designers and work with famous stylists; rather it feels like she just walks to her closet and packs a few of her favourite sari’s before a big event. That is what I call great personal style – being confident in your own skin! It’s no surprise than that one of my favourite looks from Cannes was Nandita at a photo call in a simple yellow suit. Simplicity speaks for itself.