Cannes Film Festival, the annual, international film, fashion, and creativity soiree is around the corner. And this year yet again, for the 19th time in a row, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan will grace the coveted red carpet. The Bollywood actress’ French Riviera wardrobe has always been très chic, and we expect nothing less this time.
While we wait to watch her fashion game at the 75th annual Cannes Film Festival, here’s a recap of all her Cannes red carpet appearances.
Miss World 1994, Aishwarya, debuted on the Cannes Film Festival red carpet in 2002 alongside Indian filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali. She was at the festival to attend the premiere of Devdas, and for this, she had donned a beautiful bright yellow saree by designer Neeta Lulla. Post her debut, the Bollywood diva has attended the festival every year – be it for a premiere or to represent a brand – and bold her fans and followers with her fashion looks each time.
The next year, in 2003, she was selected as a jury member at the Cannes Film Festival. She attended the much-talked-about event that year in a neon green saree and a heavily embellished choli. While Aishwarya owned the look and gave out #sorrynotsaree vibes that year, she received a lot of flak for her fashion choices.
The year after wasn’t any different either. The Bollywood diva ditched the saree to don a sensual silver sequinned gown with a bareback, designed by Neeta Lulla, and the fashion police weren’t impressed by the unflattering cutouts of the ensemble and the silk scarf that she had paired with it.
In 2005, Aishwarya became the first-ever Indian to open the film festival. That year, she slayed the red carpet twice and each appearance could be defined as a fashion goal. The first was a flirty, floral printed Giorgio Armani dress and the second was a black Gucci gown with a plunging neckline and a short trail.
The Ae Dil Hai Mushkil actor looked nothing short of a queen when she wore this midnight blue strapless gown by Elie Saab and complemented the look with a bejewelled serpentine necklace.
2007 was the year when Aishwarya tied the knot with Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan amid much fanfare. As expected, this year, the duo walked the Cannes red carpet hand in hand, they were mainly there to attend the screening of filmmaker Mani Ratnam’s ‘Guru’ (starring Aishwarya and Abhishek as leads). The diva’s ensemble was a winner – an elegant Giorgio Armani white strapless gown with a statement diamond necklace.
The strapless gown from 2007 was such a hit that she reprised the pattern with another sensuous one by the couturier. The 2008 strapless gown was, however, in a neutral palette, and it looks every bit stunning when she graced the red carpet alongside Abhishek, their second Cannes red carpet appearance post marriage.
Come 2009, ivories caught Aishwarya’s eye and she sashayed down the red carpet in a form-fitting Cavalli gown with a ruffled train.
The Bollywood fashionista wore a saree by Indian designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee when she returned in 2010. It was a gold six-yard embellished drape and she paired it with an emerald green blouse. For other events at the Cannes 2010, Aishwarya chose ensembles from international brands Elie Saab and Armani Prive.
Aishwarya was a vision in white when she attended the Cannes Film Festival in 2011. Her choice for the red carpet was a one-shoulder embroidered gown in off-white with a flattering cut, designed by Lebanese designer Elie Saab.
She followed it up with a geometric Armani Prive gown in black and white. Around this time, Aishwarya was announced as the lead of director Madhur Bhandarkar’s Heroine. She was later replaced by Kareena Kapoor Khan in the 2012 film.
The heroine’s love affair with renowned designer Elie Saab’s designs continued with her appearance in 2012. This was Aishwarya’s first appearance at Cannes post delivering Aaradhya, and she walked with much poise in a black embellished gown with sheer sleeves.
For her second appearance in 2012, she posed in a heavily embroidered off-white saree by her favourite designers Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla. It was paired with a tailored bandhgala jacket blouse. This year, the actor was earning a lot of flak for her post-baby figure and weight gain, but it was amazing to watch how she shrugged off all that negativity and owned the red carpet at the 65th Annual Cannes Film Festival.
Aishwarya, by now a mainstay at the Cannes Film Festival, stole the show at the French Riviera in 2013 like it was her own backyard in a one-shoulder teal gown by Gucci. She donned the gown to attend the screening of Behind the Candelabra.
For her 2014 appearance, Aishwarya returned to Cavalli. It was a gold strapless gown and she complemented it with bold red lips and superstar waves. One can’t forget the adorable tweet her much-in-love husband, Abhishek, had shared once the look was on the internet.
The Bollywood diva’s fans and followers got to witness her experimental side when she gave out several fashion looks – all exuding elegance – in 2015. From the beautiful blue Elie Saab gown to the black-and-white Ralph and Russo folded ensemble, Oscar De La Renta strapless number, and the white-and-gold Georges Chakra gown.
Aishwarya’s purple lips from her Cannes 2016 appearance went viral and how! This bold choice of lip colour was for a floral embroidered Rami Kadi couture gown that she sashayed on the red carpet that year.
She gave larger-than-life a whole new meaning when the actor attended the 2017 Cannes Film Festival in a voluminous powder blue floral Cinderalla-esque gown by Michael Cinco, a Dubai-based fashion designer. It was to mark 15 years of Aishwarya at the international film festival’s red carpet, and it seemed like she had stepped straight out of a fairytale.
Michael Cinco created another showstopper for Aishwarya in 2018. It was a butterfly-patterned gown with a 20-foot train in the same pattern. “The gown was created to reflect the impalpable dream of butterfly metamorphosis,” the designer told Bazaar.com during a 2018 interview. He had also revealed that the dress took 3000 hours to make, and it was covered in Swarovski crystals.
For the 72nd Cannes Film Festival, which marked her 18th appearance at the coveted red carpet, Aishwarya experimented with a white feathered and tulle dress by Ashi Studio. It was followed by a dual-toned metallic hued gown in a fish-cut shape by Jean-Louis Sabaji couture.
With the 75th year of the Cannes Film Festival just around the corner, we are beyond excited to see what India’s Cannes queen Aishwarya is planning to rock the red carpet in. Aren’t you too?