As a number of Indian actresses ready themselves to appear at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival (May 13 to May 24), everyone's curious about what they'll wear at the red carpet. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Sonam Kapoor, Freida Pinto and Mallika Sherawat have all been there before, and have displayed a gamut of sartorial choices.
While the fashion fraternity is waiting to see what they will bring to the table this year, a lot of eyes are also on Katrina Kaif, who will make her debut appearance at the event.
Indian designers hope the actresses will flaunt something out-of-the-box this time, and impress with their ensembles. "They've mostly stuck to gowns and heavily embroidered saris so far. This time, I feel prints on Indian silhouettes will work well," says designer Kanika Kedia.
Designer Anavila Misra hopes to spot some saris. "A carefully-styled contemporary sari will look lovely on Katrina," she says. We check out the actresses' past appearances - with the exception of Katrina - and get designers Nachiket Barve, Rimple & Harpreet Narula and Shruti Sheth, to share their wish list for all five of them.
Nachiket Barve: I'd like to see her pick a look inspired by actress Veronica Lake for one outing, and the Maharani of Cooch Behar for another. She could interpret the sari in her own way.
Rimple & Harpreet Narula: She should channel an erstwhile Awadhi princess look, dressed in a Mughal-esque sharara or farshi pajama paired with some antique chand-bali earrings.
Shruti Sheth: It would be great to see her move away from her favoured nudes and peaches, and wear structured gowns in red or green.
*Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
Nachiket Barve: She has an understated, classic style. I would love to see her in bright colours, slick hair and minimal styling. A look with no distractions will let her shine.
Rimple & Harpreet Narula: She has looked her best whenever she has worn a sari. We'd love to see her wear one with her unique flair.
Shruti Sheth: It would be great to see her in outfits that enhance her curves; I hope she stays away from black and gold, and picks bold colours.
Nachiket Barve: I would love for her to really push the envelope, and wear a stark solid colour for one outing, and a delicate, modern Indian look for another. She could also pull off an androgynous tuxedo a la Marlene Dietrich, and have fun on the red carpet.
Rimple & Harpreet Narula: Being a global style icon, she should sport Indian textiles that highlight our rich heritage and crafts.
Shruti Sheth: Strong make-up and hair are a must for her. She should continue making bold choices, and stay away from standard red carpet gowns.
From L to R: Mallika Sherawat and Freida Pinto.
Nachiket Barve: A flow-y maxi, or a sari paired with a jacket would be interesting. She can also try something with a demure neckline, covered-up sleeves and vintage jewellery.
Shruti Sheth: Less skin show and more elegance should be her motto. A graceful gown in pastel hues, complementary make-up and retro hairdo would be lovely.
Nachiket Barve: I'd love to see her channel a '70s vibe, and bring an element of boho chic to the red carpet. Tropical colours and statement jewellery will be perfect for her.