What is stopping Aishwarya Rai Bachchan from wearing 'a white shirt and jeans' at Cannes?
It has been 15 years at Cannes for Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. And almost every outing, and outfit, has made news — good, bad and ugly.
This year, it was her purple pout that created a stir.
Starting with a gold cape dress, she followed it with a red number designed by Naeem Khan. During the premiere of Sarabjit, Aishwarya took her Rami Kadi ensemble to an edgier level by sporting a lavender lip. 16 May was indeed a busy day for Twitter, what with assembly polls and Aishwarya's choice of lipstick.
Aishwarya Rai's purple lips are proof that actresses don't look in the mirror when they're stylists are around!
— namrata zakaria (@namratazakaria) May 16, 2016
Aishwarya Rai: "I'm wearing purple lipstick for Cannes this year"
Abhishek Bachchan: "Good, it'll go well with my purples-less existence."
— Akshar (@AksharPathak) May 16, 2016
Aishwarya Rai has broken barriers & done the thing women have been secretly hoping for. She's got all the men talking about lipstick.
— Ripper (@Ace_Of_Pace) May 16, 2016
There's certainly no escaping the fashion police, if you happen to be Aishwarya Rai. So much that Rai, when asked if she felt a constant pressure to look a certain way, replied that she might one day "walk out in a white shirt and jeans on red carpet".
So why don't you, Aishwarya? What exactly is stopping you?
The former beauty queen describes fashion as "art". Which it is. In its purest self, it's an expression of individualism and creativity. But fashion on the red carpet isn't art; it's business. The Guardian writes that Cannes' screenings are by invitation and the official dress code is explained to guests: men should show up in black tie-black shoes, and women in elegant dresses with smart footwear.
Perhaps, that's what stopping Aishwarya. And other celebrities. That the fact that they might represent a brand (Aishwarya is the brand ambassador for L'oreal Paris). Or they might represent various jewellery businesses and fashion designers, who will have the satisfaction of seeing their creations on the red carpet. Aishwarya, this Cannes season, sported looks by four different designers.
How much is the red carpet business worth? A report by The Cut estimates that a red carpet day rate for a celebrity stylist is anywhere between $1,500 and $10,000. It details in neat mathematics, a breakdown of Charlize Theron's 2012 Golden Globes outfit. Another report, by New York Magazine, details the appearance fee for different celebrities. While Business Insider confirmed that jewellery designers, shoe designers and even tampon companies pay the celebrities who endorse their products. It is all about the money.
Fashion protocol, obviously, is strict at Cannes: In 2015, a group of older women wearing rhinestone flats, were barred from the screening of Carol for not wearing high-heeled shoes. At the preview of Money Monster, last Thursday, Julia Roberts reportedly walked the iconic Cannes red carpet, barefoot. News reports cited that a French newspaper called it an act of "militant feminism".
Militant feminism is perhaps too harsh a phrase to describe what Roberts did — she was, after all, trying to make a point. Aishwarya, who claims to be following a "very hectic schedule," has all the more reason to turn up in a pair of blue jeans and a white shirt. That doesn't have to limit her fashion choices: Last year, Lady Gaga wore a custom jumpsuit designed by Brandon Maxwell to the Oscars, Emma Stone wore a Lanvin jumpsuit to the Golden Globes, and a number of women ditched gowns for pants at the Emmys. Perhaps, next time Aishwarya's statement can come true: she can pair her pants with a bold red lip (courtesy L'oreal) to add to the effect.
(With inputs from IANS)