Manish Arora was his usual theatrical self, and delivered a show as entertaining as it was finely crafted.
It kicked off with one of Pedro Almodovar’s favorite actresses, Rossy de Palma, in a holographic cocktail dress, leading a troop of girls in embroidered, sci-fi gear fit for an Amazon from outer space. She led them right to some tables laden with tea pots and hookahs, after which they got up and walked around on the runway.
Carved wooden cages mimicking a mannequin’s chest became fierce armor, and frou-frou dresses gave the silhouettes an eccentric feminine touch. “It’s for women who want to move, run,” the designer told us backstage. Yet the biggest novelty for Manish is a definite paring down in terms of color palette: flesh tones and black & white patterns were recurring yet novel components of the collection; garments were a tad more wearable, and many straight leg jeans were on show.
This is a big season for Manish. In a couple of days, he will present his first collection for Franco-Spanish house Paco Rabanne. The latter, once famous for his lavish, over-the top clothes, later received more press for his firm belief in life in outer space. (He became infamous for his false prediction of the Russian space station Mir falling on Paris in 1999). At least Manish shares Paco's taste for futuristic aesthetics.
It’s also a good fit because Manish values old school craftsmanship: having products made locally by hand was always a priority. Manish will make his garments in France and also at his atelier in New Delhi “because some standards only exist back at home.” Bring it on, Manish!
**All photos via Imaxtree