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Sari style wows canal country

Amsterdam rolled out the red carpet and Bollywood strolled down it in style. The IIFA weekend at the Dutch Capital was a non-stop roller-coaster ride of glitz and glamour, shine and shimmer. But no half-hour was more spectacular than the arrivals of the stars at the Amsterdam Arena for the final awards do on Saturday night.

The outside temperature was hovering between seven and nine degree Celsius and the occasional drizzle was chilling up the air even further. But that didn’t stop all the Bollywood queens from throwing caution to the cold winds and strutting out in their hot outfits on the red, red carpet. The crowds, too, were prepared in full force, trying to ensure the best angles to steal a glimpse of their favourite stars and even go click-click whenever possible.

And along they came in the Mercs and Limos with India written all over their stunning selves. Doing away with the customary cocktail dresses, which they love to flaunt at the desi dos here, most of the silver screen sweethearts were draped in the good ol’ sari. The red, pink, green, maroon drapes were set off by loads and loads of jewels.

While the likes of Celina Jaitley and Lara Dutta were seen in the morning wearing hot, hot halter short dresses, for the evening do, with the whole world watching, saris were meant to do the trick.

Rani sparkled in pink, punctuated with turquoise blue stones, while Rekha, as usual, stood out in her flowing magenta sari turning time three decades back to her Silsila days when she shot on the tulip fields, not far away from the awards venue. Shilpa Shetty went for an in-your-face approach, with a leopard-print top teamed with a blue sari, worn more like a wraparound skirt.

Overall, the IIFA red carpet fashion stood out with its own distinctive identity, with no hangover from other international awards. As Manish Malhotra put it: “You have to create your own style. We all know of the Cannes and Oscar red carpet. Why try and repeat such a style statement' We have to innovate and come up with our own red carpet fashion. Like IIFA, which is trying to establish its own style, the fashion style should also be unique.”

Manish designed the ensembles for Kareena Kapoor and Urmila Matondkar. He went for “grand but minimal” as he felt “less is more”. Vikram Phadnis, who went on to win the Best Costume Designer award for his very, very Indian designs in Mujhse Shaadi Karogi, dressed up Aishwarya Rai and Katrina Kaif.

And did Ash do a Cannes again' Not quite. Phadnis made the star go for a classic black, back-less evening gown for the red carpet appearance to contrast his out-and-out desi costumes for her on-stage dance performance to Balle balle numbers.

Pretty Preity, who had gone for a black-and-white silk sari at the last IIFA Awards, chose to don a green gown and ironically, went on to pick up the Samsung Diva award.

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