Noted Italian stylist Roberto Cavalli Thursday confirmed what is arguably the fashion industry's worst kept secret: that Hollywood stars are often paid to showcase a designer's creation at red carpet events.
"Yes, it's true. Some designers do pay stars to wear their clothes at red carpet events like the Oscars," Cavalli admitted somewhat reluctantly at a session on 'Bollywood vs Hollywood' at the International Herald Tribune Sustainable Luxury Summit here.
"The Oscars are such a major event that what a celebrity is wearing becomes the talk of the town. You feel so proud when some star wears your brand at these events. It gives your brand amazing publicity, so if a Hollywood diva is wearing your brand, it adds to your clientele," the designer maintained.
"So, dressing up a star at these events has become a huge business. It is no more about pleasure and comfort. There is tough competition and everyone wants to look good," Cavalli added.
There is a flip side too.
"At one event, Sharon Stone was to wear a Valentino gown but she turned up in a Valentino T-shirt instead. Her picture made it to the front pages around the world but Valentino held his head in his hand for three days wondering why she had done this to him," Cavalli said.
On another occasion, actress Jennifer Hudson had promised to wear a Cavalli outfit but backed out at the last moment.
"They are free to wear what they want. It's a question of personal choice as well," the designer explained.
All this came from a man whose clothes the likes of Madonna, Drew Barrymore, Sharon Stone, Jennifer Lopez, Gwyneth Paltrow, Christina Aguilera, Beyonce Knowles, Charlize Theron and Victoria Beckham.
What then differentiates Hollywood from Bollywood?
"Hollywood actresses are very much into fashion and brands and show off and their clothes even if they don't reflect their personal style statements, while Bollywood actresses are very warm and wear what they comfortable in," Cavalli explained.
That's all he was prepared to talk about on the subject at hand, preferring to wax eloquent on India and its women.
"Fashion comes very easily to Indian women as every one of them wants to look beautiful yet sensual at the same time," he maintained.
India, he said, "is a country of colours with amazing artisans who are its jewels. They create beautiful pieces of art. You also have the best of leather and it is found in south India".
How would he advise Indian designers to move ahead?
"Young designers should nurture their with love, passion and care. Also, all of you (designers) should believe in yourselves if you want to make it big in this industry," Cavalli contended.