10 SECOND TAKE: Kangana Ranaut is pushing the proverbial envelope with every hourly change – as is the new norm. Did you not receive the memo? She’s taken risks with abandon, and managed to weave in a cool mix of fashion heavyweights and buzzed-about newbies. Meanwhile, Deepika Padukone is largely picking from her set of tried-and-tested labels, but I struggle to get behind the cloud that was her Ashi Studio gown. Her choices have been a bit too on the nose. Now you could argue that if you can’t wear a plume like that to Cannes then where can you? But is a little imagination a big ask?
KANGANA RANAUT IN NANUSHKA
The Hungarian label by designer Sandra Sandor is a hit with bloggers, and fast gaining currency with Instagram stars like Caroline de Maigret and Reese Blutstein. Ranaut chose their vegan leather ‘Nahar’ dress and teamed it with the teeniest sunglasses by Poppy Lissiman. The ’90s favourite, smaller-than-small glasses, are back with a vengeance. (Aside: Kanye famously sent an email to Kim Kardashian about riding this wave before it’s too late.) Incidentally, Nanushka too mines the ’80s and ’90s for inspiration, and gives us the kind of tie-up dresses and tops, slouchy belt bags, and high-waist trousers that feel contemporary. Ranaut paired these with leather-and-PVC heels from an equally cool UK label, Neous Studio. (Seriously, you’ll want every single one of their sculptural mules.)
…IN ELISABETTA FRANCHI
Bookmark this Italian label, for it’s a local favourite that’s yet to cross borders and make headlines. Stylist Lorna McGee picked out a quirky-cute embellished dress for a day out shopping.
Ranaut wore a Kira Kira-worthy jumpsuit from designer Nedret Taciroglu’s Fall ’17 collection, which fit her like second skin. I’d all but forgotten about the Turkish label once worn by Aishwarya Rai Bachchan to the Vogue Beauty Awards last year. Like every Middle Eastern label worth its salt this too is generous with embellishment, lace, velvet, flouncy silhouettes…you get the drift. I just wished Ranaut had reined in her inner Disco Dancer for her turn on the red carpet, which took away the magnetism of the outfit.
…IN HALPERN STUDIO
Studio 54 glamour done right by Halpern Studio, in this sequinned mini dress. Ranaut wore this young London label to an after-party. Marion Cotillard was the first celebrity to bring Halpern Studio into the spotlight last year, by wearing a piece to the Chopard party at Cannes. Designer Michael Halpern’s creations are unapologetically over-the-top, and he mixes sequin, satin and leather almost effortlessly. Even former mentor Donatella Versace applauds his sense of colour and craftsmanship. Who am I to disagree?
DEEPIKA PADUKONE IN VICTORIA HAYES
The young New York label has been worn by Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande, and Cardi B. Hayes, a Central Saint Martins and Parsons graduate, was picked Women’s Wear Designer of the Year in 2014 – prestigious honour at Parsons. Padukone chose an ultraviolet suit for daytime, when there were far more exciting jacket-dresses or suit-skirts from her stable she could have gone with. Pretty, but fairly boring.
…IN ALBERTA FERRETTI
Another Ferretti, this time in molten gold. Loved Padukone in it, and you could tell that Padukone was feeling herself in this marquee Italian label. Stylist Shaleena Nathani teamed it with elegant gold hoops by Indian label Misho. But I should’ve known my joy would be short lived.
…IN ASHI STUDIO
A few hours in, Padukone swept up her hair in a messy-but-elegant updo and swanned to the red carpet for the premiere of Ash is the Purest White in a voluminous Ashi Studio couture gown. She wore it with the confidence that it demanded. And if it were a task to manoeuvre the dress she simply didn’t betray it. The Beirut-based label helmed by Mohammad Ashi has also been spotted on Sonam Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Lady Gaga and Rita Ora.
…IN MARCELL VON BERLIN
Padukone punctuated the evening with a run-of-the-mill black cape-gown by this German designer. Designer Marcell Pustul is known to have worked at DKNY and Michael Kors in the past. Even so, I can’t help but think this off-the-radar label was a staid choice.