Aishwarya Rai has been a consistent presence at the Cannes Film Festival since 2002 and has graced nearly all editions of the prestigious event over the years. While her debut appearance at Cannes in 2002 was widely appreciated, her subsequent attendance in 2003 received harsh criticism for her looks. Designer Neeta Lulla, in a recent interview, shared her perspective on that particular year and recounted the incident when she had sent 47 outfits with Aishwarya for various occasions, but unfortunately, something didn't go as planned.
EXCLUSIVE: Neeta Lulla breaks silence on Aishwarya Rai’s controversial 2003 Cannes’s appearance; says, “There were some 47 outfits that went with her for the whole festival”
In an exclusive video interview with Bollywood Hungama, Neeta Lulla remembered that Aishwarya was facing health issues during Cannes period as she had sustained a foot fracture. The attire she was captured wearing, particularly the neon green saree, received negative feedback from the fashion critics of that era. She said, “There were some 47 outfits that went with her for the whole festival. Day wear, afternoon wear, evening wear, red carpet wear. Somewhere, I guess what happened was possibly time, possibly because of different collaborations, jewellery had to be changed. I really don’t know what happened there.”
According to Neeta, she felt deeply distressed during that period, but Aishwarya remained a steadfast support throughout the challenging time. Neeta added, “Anybody is going to be upset with the kind of comments that a lot of fellow designers and media put out without knowing what exactly happened, which even till date I don’t know… All I knew was there were front pages and double page features that were happening about how bad a designer I was or whatever but anyway, I guess her wearing my outfit and trusting me with so many more post that only spoke the truth about it. Because if you've really damaged somebody's career so bad. How would you be working even post that? So, I really don't know what happened there. And I think it's in the past, you take it with a pinch of salt, you learn and today the learning is that all the stylists go with the designers to the Cannes Film Festival to see that no more of this happens ever.”
As the years have passed, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan's Cannes appearances have regained their celebrated status, showcasing the epitome of grace and elegance that she has always been known for. The 2003 incident, though a moment of difficulty, has become a lesson for the industry to ensure more transparency and cooperation in the future. With each subsequent appearance at Cannes, Aishwarya continues to make her mark on the global stage, leaving an indelible impression with her iconic style and timeless beauty.
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