The lovable black sheep
Yet another fashion week, yet again Manish Arora holds aloft the flag of his special designs, notes SANGEETA BAROOAH PISHAROTY
After LIFW, Manish would promote Bollywood in fashion at the Galleries Lafayette
FLUFF AND FRILL: Manish Arora with a model in an outfit from his LIFW collection PHOTO: ANU PUSHKARNA
Delhi's own Manish Arora has earned the label of being wild and wacky in his designs by dint of his constancy. Unconventional cuts and images, a mishmash of vivid hues, a play of fabrics, avant-garde shoes, caps and bags to pair with outfits seem to have now become Manish's typical line of designing. He may be a chic, purely homegrown product, yet he is not so much at home with the usual fare on Indian ramps.
And now, many moons after he graduated with the first batch from NIFT, the oft-heard remark - `His show has to be wacky' - has gained a rather thick coat of truth.
In this year's ongoing Lakme India Fashion Week too, Manish is ready with a range that he describes as "done with a dose of motifs, fabrics, frills and seams draped with love and hard work." Posing for shutterbugs with a model flaunting his colourful LIFW creations at a media preview in his Defence Colony studio, Manish lays bare his outfits that shock you first with the abundance of bright colours.
"Colour is the key to this collection. I have used lots of pink, purple, yellow and blue," he says. Manish adds life to the hues by setting them in patches with frills and lace going round the silhouettes dotted with embroidered flower motifs and crystals.
"I have not only used Swarovski crystals on my outfits this time but have also put them on my shoe and bag ranges," he says.
Talking of bags and shoes reminds you of the last LIFW. Manish was one of the very few designers to have fiddled with accessories there. "My new range of bags and shoes that I would show at the LIFW is not yet ready," he adds. Now that he is designing a line of sports shoes for Reebok, the "shapes are basic, yet there is use of crystals."
With his clothes retailing at Indian and foreign showrooms, Manish is now a happening designer.
He is also taking part in fashion shows abroad. A week after LIFW ends, he would be zipping off to Paris to promote Bollywood in fashion at the prestigious Galleries Lafayette. Being the first Indian designer to use Bollywood figures on his outfits, and at the present LIFW too with film posters on dresses, he seems to be a clear choice for the French event.
"At the same time, my clothes would be shown at a fashion show in Lahore. It will feature the collection I am selling right now. I wish I could be there too," he says. Also, in May, he will take part in the Miami Fashion Week.
"Since I shall be taking the same collection to Paris and Miami, I had better be looking at the initial reactions at the LIFW," Manish quickly does a reality check. The smile that laces the comment though says, despite the pressure, he is clearly at ease.
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