Bollywood actresses react to a controversy that blew up over the unofficial 'high heels only' diktat on the Cannes red carpet
The Cannes film festival is synonymous with glitz and glamour, one of the biggest highlights in the fashion industry’s calendar. But this year’s edition had its fair share of controversy after female guests were denied access to a film screening for not wearing high heels. One of the ‘victims’ of this strange fashion policing was the wife of Asif Kapadia, whose Amy Winehouse documentary titled Amy received a thunderous applause at the festival. She was eventually allowed on the red carpet when she introduced herself. In another incident, numerous members of film companies and a woman who wore flats for medical reasons at the premiere of Cate Blanchett’s Carol were also turned away for not wearing heels.
The no-flats diktat triggered a storm of protests on various platforms, including the social media, where many termed it as a sexist dress code policy. Following the backlash, festival director Thierry Fremaux issued an apology, although seeking to downplay the controversy.
The furore, however, is yet to die down. Several Bollywood celebs have condemned this unwritten high heels enforcement policy.
hitlist asked a few Bollywood actresses for their opinion on this issue...
The ’90s diva who has been part of several film festivals and glamorous events, minces no words while expressing her displeasure about the diktat. “The festival is pushing the high heeled attitude a bit too far. What if someone has a medical condition? Do they need a special permission?” she asks.
The Baby actress does not seem to find anything wrong with the footwear code. “Well, if wardrobe can be a criterion to walk the red carpet, so can heels. If we have dress codes, why not shoe codes?” she asks.
Regularly spotted at red carpet galas, this young actress also thinks making high heels obligatory is wrong. “Personally, I love wearing heels on the red carpet. However, I do not support this compulsion. I understand the occasion requirement is formal, but to enforce wearing heels is a little short of autocracy. Stature and elegance are inner traits; it would take more than heels to cultivate that,” she reasons.
The actress-producer says, “Every formal event has a dress code that must be respected. But to have heels as a mandatory requirement is ridiculous. What next? Will they specify how high the heels must be?”
Sara Jane Dias
Currently attending the international fest for the first time along with the team of her upcoming musical, the actress calls it “just a formality” that Cannes had enforced. “It has been revoked now, so there is nothing offensive about anything,” she adds.