Mumbai, As a starry-eyed teenager, she wanted to represent her country at an international event, wearing the national costume. On her very first red carpet appearance at the Cannes International Film Festival, actress Deepika Padukone did just that and with style that wowed one and all.
“Long ago, when I had started modelling I had promised myself that whenever I attend an international event I’d wear a saree because I’d rather represent my country in the national costume than in western clothes. I get enough opportunities at home to wear western clothes. When I’m seen at an international event, I’d rather be fully Indian,” Deepika said.
The 24-year-old, who attended the event as the face of liquor brand Chivas Regal, opted for a Rohit Bal — off white, slightly embroidered saree with touches of gold.
When told that Aishwarya Rai Bachchan wore a gown, Deepika said: “I wouldn’t like to comment on others. Speaking for myself, I find the saree very Indian and yet very sensuous. I wore an off-white Rohit Bal creation on the red carpet. It felt good to be so Indian so far away from from home.”
Deepika had reportedly made discreet inquiries about what Aishwarya would wear before deciding on her own look. The 36-year-old “Cannes regular” looked great this year in a violet blue fully embroidered tulle and mousseline gown from Lebanese designer Elie Saab.
Deepika’s two-day whirlwind tour to the Cannes Film Festival also included sight-seeing. On day two of her trip, she took off on her own to take in the sights and sounds of the scenic seaside town.
“There’s so much to Cannes besides the festival. In fact, the first time when I came to Cannes in 2002, I was here not for the festival but as a tourist. I remember I had stood outside the venue of the Cannes film festival and taken pictures. I had promised myself that next time I’d be back as part of the festival…and here I am,” she said.
According to Deepika, the best thing about the event was the fact that there was unconditional acceptance for Indian cinema.
“Here at Cannes, they aren’t looking at me or anyone else from Bollywood as oddities. Even if I was in a saree, I didn’t feel marginalised or ethnic. I felt…at home!”