Aishwarya Rai Arrives At 2012 Cannes Film Festival: What Did She Wear? [PHOTOS]

By : Subscribe to Cavan's | May 25, 2012 12:34 AM IST

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Aishwarya Rai, who has been the center of a tumultuous weight-gain controversy after the birth of her daughter just six months ago, debuted her post-baby body at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival on Thursday.

On Thursday, Aishwarya Rai touched down in the French Riviera for the L'Oreal Paris-amfAR (The Foundation for AIDS Research) dinner to help raise funding for HIV/AIDS research.

The question on everyone's mind is, of course, what did she wear? The 38-year-old new mother is not only an internationally recognized beauty, but she is also a fashion maven. She has flaunted her best assets on the Cannes red carpet since 2002. Her celebrity, coupled with the recent frenzy over her curvier figure, has everyone buzzing about her Cannes debut. 

Rai wore a cream and gray ombre Angelo Katsapis maxi dress during the afternoon, posing for photos against a picturesque backdrop of sparkling turquoise water and cloudless sky.

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For the amfAR Cinema Against Aids Gala red carpet, the actress and mother donned an elaborate sari designed by Abu Jani-Sandeep Khosla. The ivory and sand, long-sleeved ensemble flattered Rai, whose weight gain has been in question since she gave birth in November. She wore her hair pulled back in a bun with a subtle faux-hawk atop her head. She kept her jewelry simple but went with makeup that made her stunning blue eyes really pop. 

A source close to Aishwarya Rai reportedly told the Times of India, "She has decided to ditch designer gowns and go completely Indian at Cannes. She will walk the red carpet on May 24 and 25. While Abu-Sandeep, Sabyasachi Mukherjee and Shahab Durazi were shortlisted to provide outfits, she finally decided to stick to Abu-Sandeep. The sari is off-white with chikankari work and antique gold embroidery. The churidar-kurtas are in beige and cream and classic Abu-Sandeep. Instead of choosing her usual dark colours, Ash has gone pastel this year."

The actress supposedly took two weeks to choose her final Cannes outfit.

"The kurtas are long and flowy, with one in the anarkali style. Both have heavy zari and gold work on them. Ash feels that India has so much to offer in terms of beautiful, handcrafted ensembles, so why not show them off to the world?" the source added to the Times of India.

Controversy surrounding Rai's weight gain ignited after a YouTube video entitled "Aishwarya Rai's Shocking Weight Gain" was posted online. The clip documents Rai's baby weight gain in photos, showcasing the most recent ones snapped at a United Nations even, complete with elephant sound effects.

"Aishwarya Rai Bachan post her pregnancy seems to be looking rather plump instead of losing some of her flab after the baby's delivery. The Bachchan bahu seems to be taking motherhood very seriously and seems to have shockingly put on at least five to six kilos," wrote YouTube user desimad.

Commenters poked fun at the once-svelte beauty. "She is a Bollywood actress and it is her duty to look good and fit," said one. "She needs to learn from people like Victoria Beckham who are back to size zero weeks after their delivery," wrote another.

Backlash flared and many were quick to defend Aishwarya Rai.

"Aishwarya is like a goddess. She is held up as the ideal of beauty and so there is an expectation on her to look perfect at all times," show business columnist Shobhaa De told the Daily News of the fracas. "The role models being held up are Angelina Jolie and Victoria Beckham . . .this whole business of looking desperately skinny two weeks after giving birth is a Western import."

Some hoped that Rai would show off her new curvy figure at the Cannes Film Festival in something sexy. "It could be a turning point in making us stop and review the absurd expectations we have of our female celebrities," added De. Instead, she opted to take a more traditional, demure route. 

What do you think of Aishwarya Rai's Cannes red carpet outfit? Check out her wardrobe choices from years' past here.

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