Free Press Journal

Cannes Flashback: Celebrating Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s 15 years at the fest


It’s been fifteen year’s since the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Devdas’, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is all set to present the opulent romantic tragedy to and international audience for the second time. Aishwarya made her red carpet debut at Cannes Film Festival with the same film in 2002. Aishwarya will present ‘Devdas’ as a part of L’Oréal Paris Open Air Cinema. Back in 2002, Shah Rukh Khan and Aishwarya along with Sanjay Leela Bhansali had taken the film to this prestigious festival.

Representing the cosmetic brand L’Oreal Paris, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has over the years doled out styles and looks with global fashion pundits keeping a close watch and giving out their verdicts. Back then Aishwarya took center stage with her style sensibility and looked ravishing nonetheless.

A global icon, gorgeous woman and veteran at Cannes, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s tryst with the prestigious red carpet where styles are established and recognition is courted, chronicles a fashionable journey of 15 years, beginning from 2002 to 2016. Aishwarya will be attending the 70th edition of the film festival on May 19 and 20. Every year, her red carpet offerings have something unusual in store with a few hits and misses. Tracing her journey, here’s how Aishwarya Rai Bachchan traversed her style journey at the Cannes Film Festival:

Also Read: Cannes 2017: Aishwarya and Aaradhya have fun in France

Cannes 2002

The year marked the first time that Aishwarya set foot at the red carpet. For her debut Cannes appearance, Aishwarya chose to go Indian and donned a golden Neeta Lulla sari for the premiere of her film ‘Devdas’, pairing it with heavy golden jewellery. Aishwarya had shared the stage with Shah Rukh Khan and filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali that night. While many applauded her style sensibility to take the traditional Indian path, the jewellery was a bit of an OTT.

Cannes 2003

Returning to Cannes as a jury member, Aishwarya retained her traditional style sensibility but faced quite some flak for her neon green Neeta Lulla saree with her hair tied in a tight top knot. She continued the garish style charade with shimmering pink dress with diamonds and a messy hairdo along with a brown and red lehenga set.

Cannes 2004

Opting for one of the most outrageous looks, Aishwarya picked a revealing Neeta Lulla gown. Wearing the gown with jewellery from Chopard, the silver sequined gown with cut-outs and a bare back were unflattering and the scarf was simply an unnecessary accessory. Sadly, the actress received a lot of backlash for her fashion choice that year.

Cannes 2005

In her flirty, printed dress by Giorgio Armani, Aishwarya looked beautiful and chose a daring black Gucci gown with a plunging neck for another look. She nailed the red carpet with a floral, printed dress by the International designer, Giorgio Armani.

Cannes 2006

In sync with her style choices in 2005, Aishwarya followed it up with two classy designer ensembles – a navy blue Roberto Cavalli strapless gown accessorised with a snake like neck-piece and a black ruffled lace gown. Her movie Provoked was screened this year.

Cannes 2007

This was a special year for Aishwarya as she got married that year to Abhishek Bachchan. Aishwarya walked down the red carpet hand-in-hand with hubby and looked elegant in a white strapless gown accented with a beautiful diamond necklace. Abhi-Ash walked down for the screening of Mani Ratnam directed ‘Guru’. The teaser of Ashutosh Gowarikar’s larger than life Jodhaa Akbar was also screened.

Cannes 2008

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan dazzled the world with three looks that comprised the colours golden Armani, black and a bright Cavalli fuchsia gowns and was flanked by her family of hubby Abhishek and in-laws Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan.

Cannes 2009

Wowing her fans, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan turned up in a floor-sweeping Roberto Cavalli strapless white gown and a grey Elie Saab one-shoulder gown accented with slicked-back hair.

Cannes 2010

Aishwarya with hubby Abhishek attended the premiere of Cannes with Aishwarya wearing a golf Sabyasachi saree, an updo with centre parting and an emerald green blouse. In the other two looks, Aishwarya donned a violet mermaid gown with a train and sheer shoulders. Next up was a black strapless Armani Prive gown which worked wonders for her.

Cannes 2011

By 2011, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan seemed to have struck a chord with the fashion pundits for her style choices and spun two perfect looks, one featuring an Elie Saab one shoulder embroidered gown and other being a geometric Armani Prive dress.

Cannes 2012

This year was special for Aishwarya as she made that grand appearance following the birth of her daughter Aaradhya Bachchan. She chose to wear an Elie Saab embellished midnight blue gown with a defined waist, followed it up traditionally with a white embroidered, saree with an elaborate jacket blouse. Aishwarya garnered appreciation from everyone.

Cannes 2013

In her one-shoulder teal Gucci gown, a black and grey Elie Saab couture gown and in an Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla floor-length Anarkali with colourful heavy embroidery, Aishwarya made her presence felt at the film festival.

Cannes 2014

Aishwarya graced one of the most iconic looks in a glamorous strapless gold gown designed by Roberto Cavalli and another dazzling embellished white one by him. Both the gowns featured a train and accentuated her beautiful curves.

Cannes 2015

Carrying her style legacy forward, Aishwarya cemented her place as a true blue Cannes fashionista in 2015. An emerald green Elie Saab, a strapless Ralph & Russo couture gown in monochromes and a maroon strapless Oscar de la Renta gown rounded off her top looks at the film festival.

Cannes 2016

This was the epic year of the viral purple lips! Triggering quite a few trolls, Aish also nailed some stunning red carpet looks this year with a gold embellished Ali Younes gown followed by a fringe and tulle Naseem Khan to celebrate her 15th year at Cannes and a blue pink embellished Elli Saab gown.