Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai Bachchan returned to the Cannes Film Festival on Friday, taking a bit of Dubai with her.
The 43-year-old actress and L’Oreal ambassador, who made her debut at the renowned festival in 2002, wore a ball gown designed by UAE-based Filipino designer Michael Cinco for her first appearance this year. The floor-sweeping embroidered powder blue gown is from Cinco’s Impalpable Dream of Versailles collection, featuring layers and layers of tulle.
“Aishwarya is one of the most beautiful women in the world that I really admire and love. To see her wearing my couture dress on the red carpet in Cannes Film Festival is a dream come true,” Cinco told Gulf News tabloid!. “The dress is inspired from the painting of Infanta Maria Theresa, the wife of the Sun King Louis IV of the Palace of Versailles.”
It was Rai Bachchan’s stylist who saw Cinco’s dress and got in touch with the designer.
“I sent my assistant to India for a fitting with Aishwarya and she fell in love with it and decided to wear it to the festival,” Cinco said.
Rai Bachchan first made her Cannes debut with the Bollywood drama Devdas in 2002.
“It was the first time that an Indian movie was screened here ... soon after, I was here as a jury member which was a first for any Indian actor. It was an honour and an incredible experience,” she told AFP on the red carpet. “Down the years, it’s virtually like I am a part of the family here and I feel very much at home.
“My first experience was truly memorable and exceedingly special ... We always heard how the duration of our cinema can sometimes be a bit overwhelming for the audience beyond [our] shores and Devdas by that measure is a long film,” she said of the three-hour drama.
“If I remember correctly, we got a 10-minute applause. It meant the world to us. It was by far the most touching and overwhelming experience for us because it was quite unexpected.”
On Rai Bachchan’s 15th year this year, another Bollywood star made her Cannes debut over the weekend: Deepika Padukone, who’s attending for the first time as the L’Oreal ambassador.
The actress, a major star in India, recently made her Hollywood debut with Vin Diesel in xXx: Return of Xander Cage.
Padukone, 31, wore a violet Marchesa dress in sheer on Day 1 and then followed it up the next day with a bottle green Brandon Maxwell gown with a sweeping train.
Another Bollywood actress, Sonam Kapoor, now a Cannes veteran, will soon join the L’Oreal troupe along with Hollywood stars Susan Sarandon, Julianne Moore and Elle Fanning.
Cinco moved to the UAE from the Philippines 19 years ago and established his label catering mostly to wealthy Arabs. He has since made his mark internationally, with his clothes being worn by Hollywood celebrities including Beyonce, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears. He’s also featured as guest designer in the long-running reality show America’s Next Top Model, hosted by Tyra Banks.