The new red carpet rules

Katrina Kaif

As Chopra clapped, cheered and even hooted for her friends who went on to pick up their trophies, she told us she's young and experimenting. It's great if it wins her a fashion nod, and okay if it doesn't either. The important thing is to try something new.

Even Vidya Balan, who is credited with starting the trend of anything-but-a-gown, and is creative muse to Sabyasachi, needs a new look already. She first showed off her propensity for kanjeevaram silks at the Screen Awards three years ago, but three years is a very long time to be doing the same thing. So while she did look like the blushing new bride thanking "Siddharth and the new family she's inherited", one did wish she appeared closer to her bosomy new Vogue cover.

What the Screen Awards' red carpet trawl tells is that the gown has had its moment. Label lovers take heart, the prom dress prototype will never go out of form, but it is begging for a little fun.

Katrina Kaif was a classic example of boredom. She sat emotionless in her black slit gown and made no heads turn. Deepika Padukone, on the other hand, flaunted how the gown can still be worked. Interestingly, she was a contender for Best Actor (Female) in the same film, Cocktail, where her stylist, the brilliant Anaita Shroff Adajania, won the Best Costume. Padukone was top-to-toe gorgeous in an emerald Dolce & Gabbana in lace, the sheer mermaid gown was offset with a cocktail mini inside.

Malaika Arora Khan played beautifully with a lace mini-dress too. Her sheer sides showed she wore no inners, and that a woman pushing 40 could melt butter in Alaska by just touching it.

This year's carpet is loudly telling us fashion isn't just about looking pretty, it's about playing with rules and creating new paradigms.

... contd.

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