Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai Bachchan ended weeks of speculation regarding her appearance at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival by appearing in a traditional Indian outfit, designed by Abu Jani - Sandeep Khosla.

Much of the furore that surrounded the new mother (Aishwarya gave birth to her first child, daughter Aaradhya in November) has been the weight she has gained post pregnancy and delivery and her inability / unwillingness to lose those extra kilos.

However, much of the success she is now enjoying after a successful appearance at Cannes lies in her having cleverly manipulated her outfit and her accessories in to diverting attention from her body. Incidentally, this is not the first time the actress has chosen traditional Indian wear over formal Western, although it is likely to be the most talked about. The actress did come under heavy criticism, in recent weeks, from critics accusing her of ruining the concept of a Bollywood heroine but the former Miss World, it seems, has had the last laugh.

Aishwarya wore a traditional Indian outfit called - lehenga - for her 2003 appearance and although the costume drew some appreciation, the general consensus, particularly back home in India, was she did not look quite as glamorous as she could have. It was generally said not only had Aishwarya used too much make-up but she had failed to match the colours of different elements of her dress

Switch to 2012 and the usually always fashionable actress pulled off a masterstroke, retaining the traditional Indian look but modifying the lines and drapes of a conventional sari (a cloth wrapped around the body in prescribed styles) to not only create a glamorous look but also, importantly hide her post-delivery weight while countering silly accusations of allegedly having abandoned the ideal of femininity in Indian culture, something that cropped up after a few debacles during her 2004 appearance.

Check out some photographs of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival