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What Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s polarising Cannes outfit was meant to represent

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan wore a custom gown from Gaurav Gupta Couture for her second red carpet appearance at Cannes 2022.

May 20, 2022 / 01:30 PM IST
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in a custom Gaurav Gupta ensemble at Cannes 2022.

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in a custom Gaurav Gupta ensemble at Cannes 2022.

For her second red carpet appearance at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan chose an outfit that has divided opinion on social media. The actor wore a custom gown from Gaurav Gupta Couture with an elaborate headdress that inspired unfavourable comparisons to the mythical serpent ‘Sheshanaga’. “Aish-naag,” wrote one Reddit user in a thread discussing Aishwarya’s fashion pick, while another called it unflattering.

Gaurav Gupta, the designer behind the divisive pick, took to Instagram to explain the inspiration behind the outfit. “Aishwarya Rai Bachchan wears The Venus Sculpture; a custom Gaurav Gupta Couture gown for the 75th Festival de Cannes,” he wrote.

Gupta explained that the ensemble was inspired by the birth of Venus – an episode of Roman mythology immortalised by Italian artist Botticelli in his famous painting The Birth of Venus. The painting depicts the Roman goddess of love and beauty arriving at the shore after her birth in a giant seashell.

“Inspired by the birth of Venus, the goddess of beauty and love, rising from the scalloped shell; she transitions from the infinite, pure as a pearl,” wrote Gaurav Gupta while sharing a picture of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan at the 75th edition of the Cannes Film Festival.

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has been a regular at Cannes for years. She is attending the invite-only film festival in her capacity as a L’Oreal brand ambassador.


For her first red carpet appearance, the Sarbjit actress chose florals for Cannes and managed to make it a groundbreaking look. She opted for a dramatic black Dolce and Gabbana gown with 3D flower extensions.

Desi representation is at an all-time high at the French film festival this year since India was announced as the official 'country of honour' at the Marche' Du Films also called Cannes Film Market, which is held on the sidelines of the Cannes Film Festival.

Besides regulars like Aishwarya and Deepika Padukone, this year also saw Tamannaah Bhatia and Vani Tripathi, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Mame Khan and Prasoon Joshi among the Anurag Thakur-led the delegation from India to Cannes.
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first published: May 20, 2022 01:28 pm
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