Fluorescent lilac lips, deep blue eye shadow and an insignificant assortment of gowns at Cannes Film Festival 2016 should be some of the reasons why we must rest our case(s) on Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. Especially her fashion sense. Talking about her wardrobe, either a sum total of disasters or some great stuff punctuated by pieces that she should not touch with a bargepole may be an annual bitch fest for us, “the trolls" as she calls us, but at the heart of it trembles a fading story. A rant that has worn itself thin as the most beautiful Indian actor (hopefully that moniker still holds) walks for the 15th year at Cannes.

Aishwarya has looked drop-dead gorgeous in some years at Cannes and in others a lovely but fussily frumpy star in need of style rescue. In all these years, right from the first time ever 15 years back when she paraded a Neeta Lulla wardrobe, most of it that looked like a cross between “high street couture" and confused casuals, to her gradual evolution to Elie Saab gowns and Armani Prive dresses (with a blingy Tarun Tahiliani gold sari, a cloistered Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla Anarkali and other horrors in between) to her lilac lips this time, it has been a well-documented journey. Memorable for the scathing reviews her clothes have generated in India and elsewhere; memorable indeed but mostly for her forgettable sense of dressing.

And the sheer irony of it all, one of the world’s most beautiful women with access to the world’s best designers keeps getting it wrong at least fifty per cent of the time on the red carpet.

This year, the golden-brown long jacket ensemble by Rohit Bal that Aishwarya wore while being photographed against a poster of her film Sarabjit was clunky in look and cluttered in pattern—not great for her body type. Both the colour and the silhouette marked a definite downslide in her appearance quotient. Then came the fluorescent lips which only highlighted that downslide. If bold, unconventional makeup is her way of finally “experimenting", it was a regrettable one. A simple cotton sari with an edgy plait, perhaps a rose tucked into it might have been more interesting.

Aishwarya posing during portraits at Cannes 2016. Photo: AP
Aishwarya posing during portraits at Cannes 2016. Photo: AP
The team of Sarbjit at the 69th Cannes Film Festival. Richa Chaddha (second from right) looked a phenomenal fashion disaster in her gold lace-net sari. Photo: AFP
The team of Sarbjit at the 69th Cannes Film Festival. Richa Chaddha (second from right) looked a phenomenal fashion disaster in her gold lace-net sari. Photo: AFP
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