Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s stylist talks about that giant Michael Cinco gown<br><br><br
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in Michael Cinco
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan went to Cannes, hit the red carpet like a pro, had a mother-daughter style moment and she is back. Each year the actor travels to the French Riviera to represent L’Oréal as a global ambassador and her sartorial choices on the red carpet become talking points for days after. We spoke Rai Bachchan’s stylist Aastha Sharma about creating these conversation starters.
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is something of a legend at Cannes, the French press loves her—tell us what is like to be there?
Cannes as a festival is so exciting, it’s one of the most sought out red carpets all over the world and just to witness it—it’s a different ballgame altogether. The people attending it, the organisers, the fans who are standing there waiting to see a glimpse of their favourite stars, the energy is so positive. It’s one place where art and cinema come together.
It’s a lot of hard work that goes into the hair, make-up, clothing when someone like Aishwarya is attending an event of that magnitude. We worked on the styling almost four to five months in advance. It takes time because it has to be perfect, but it’s a fun process. There is serious work happening but we try to be as creative as we can.
The Michael Cinco look was one of the biggest, most dramatic looks we saw on the red carpet this year, what made you choose that particular dress?
When I saw Michael Cinco’s collection in March, I knew I wanted to pick this look for her. Michael was really helpful in keeping the look exclusive, we didn’t want it to be released before she wore it to Cannes. How it looks in pictures and how it translates on a person are two different things. But when Aishwarya tried it on, it was a perfect match. I can’t imagine anyone else wearing it. It’s a big outfit but only she could carry it off with such poise and elegance. It could have gone very wrong, but she pulled it off.
Tell us about the second red carpet look.
We had worked with Ralph & Russo in 2015 when she had first worn something by them and it was well appreciated, so I was looking forward to working with them again. The aim was to have two separate looks that stand out in their own right. Wearing red on the red carpet is a challenge but it worked out.
Aaradhya had her own style moment this year, tell us a little about that. Gauri & Nainika were very helpful in working on Aaradhya’s look. She is a little princess of a girl but she is very grown-up, she travels to Cannes with her mom often so she also understands what is happening. We thought, why not go all out with her look too? That moment they walked together was just perfect.
Aishwarya’s style otherwise is very understated, but at Cannes we see a very different side of her.
How do you balance both sides?
Aishwarya has her own personality, she has been an icon for years, she is always appropriately dressed so it’s very easy for me as a stylist. I don’t have to convince her to do anything—if it’s an international red carpet event we go all out because she is representing a brand and herself—it’s almost a form of art. Back home, she favours Indian designers and a more understated sense of style.
Going back to the Michael Cinco dress, was it difficult to manage behind the scenes?
The dress came in a big bag, it had a room of its own. When you are working on something that will make an impact, you don’t think about how you will take care of that dress or details like that. You’re so involved in creating that perfect moment everything else just falls into place.