Last year's sari and jacket disaster is behind her. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan may have made a belated appearance at Cannes 2013 but she certainly created a splash with her first outfits, ditching mother-in-law Jaya Bachchan's favoured Abu Jani-Sandeep Khosla and sticking to reliable red carpet designer names.
On the red carpet of the screening of Inside Llewyn Davis, Ash was a traffic-stopper in black lace and sequined Elie Saab, a favourite designer. She accessorized the high-voltage dress with a black miniaudiere and kept hair and make-up simple. This dramatic black number has got to be her best showing Elie Saab so far, outshining last year's dark grey belted dress and 2011's pale embellished one. Off the red carpet, Ash was class and more than a little French in a white Saint Laurent shirt and long black mermaid-style Zac Posen skirt cinched with an Armani belt on the Martinez terrace where she was giving interviews.
Ash also wore a heavily embellished black and gold Sabyasachi sari with a gold hair ornament to the 100 years of Indian cinema gala. Clearly, the fashion war at Cannes has only just begun. Will this be the year Ash outstrips Sonam Kapoor in the style stakes? Especially as it looks like Vidya Balan isn't even in the race any more, with her latest matronly maroon blouse and sari hiccup.