The Dream Weaver

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Manish-Arora

Manish Arora

The-iconic-Butterfly-dress

The iconic Butterfly dress designed by Manish in 2012

His-latest-collection-at-Paris

His latest collection at Paris Fashion Week

Designs-from

Designs from Indian by Manish Arora

Designs-from-arora

Designs from Indian by Manish Arora

Rossy-de-Palma-and

Rossy de Palma and Julie Bowen, all sporting Manish’s creations

Clips-from-his-film-Holi-Holy

Clips from his film Holi Holy

Clips-from-his-film-Holi-Holy1

Clips from his film Holi Holy

Sketches-by-Manish-for-his-bridal

Sketches by Manish for his bridal wear line

A-popular-design-from-his

A popular design from his Autumn/Winter 2011 collection

Katy-Perry

Katy Perry

Lady-Gaga

Lady Gaga

Louise-Roe

Louise Roe

Toast of the fashion world, Manish Arora is the man of the moment. We find out how and why he makes the world go around. By Dyuti Mishra

If there is one thing that has been established, it’s that Manish Arora is a busy, busy man. Just back from Paris, where he presented his sugar- rushinducing autumn/winter 2014 collection, he has slipped straight back into photoshoots, styling looks and juggling interviews with both national and international media.

Fashion’s most-wanted designer, Manish makes sure the press doesn’t stop rolling. From his countless collaborative projects to expanding his already vast empire, he never ceases to surprise. His madness has a method, though. While colour and kitsch are his favourite playthings, his designs (even the most eccentric ones) have a huge legion of fans. From dressing pop icons like Katy Perry and M.I.A. to finally venturing into the big fat Indian bridal market, he knows the pulse of the fashion world. His ethnic wear collection, Indian by Manish Arora, stands a testament to his mastery of graphic prints, bright pops of colours and exaggeration-gone-right. The king of kitsch can’t be slotted as a fashion designer, his expertise and vision extend into every aspect of design, be it jewellery, sportswear or interiors. We have an exclusive tête-à-tête with the maverick to find out more about his unconventional legacy.

You’ve just wrapped up your show at Paris Fashion Week. Tell us about your inspiration for fall 2014.

For autumn/winter 2014, I presented a candy tribe of sweet-toothed nomads and gummy bear gypsies. Oversized ice cream prints and sugary landscapes adorn Peruvian circle skirts and ancient, Chinese, drop-waist workers’ trousers, worn over lurex thermals and long-johns.

You have also taken the plunge into the ethnic wear market with Indian by Manish Arora. Why only now, and what’s your spin on ethnic wear?

I have been working on a capsule collection of Indian wear even before coming up with my specialised brand Indian by Manish Arora. The Indian market has always been an interesting market to tap into. The clothes are an extension of my design sensibility and DNA. You will always be able to identify an Indian by Manish Arora ensemble. The collection is also more commercial and accessible than my prêt line, but in terms of creative treatment it’s definitely identifiable.

While fashion is adopting a minimalist approach, you have retained your love for theatrics. How has your label evolved through the ages?

My work is exactly who I am, so I am not afraid to share it. Evolution is visible in my work. Even though it’s over-the-top and dramatic, with experience I have found a balance between theatrics and wearability.

Your fashion film Holi Holy was wellreceived at this year’s A Shaded View On Fashion Film (ASVOFF). Why did you choose to explore this medium? Tell us about the thought process and the making of this film.

Just like designing, filmmaking is a creative process. It’s also something I’ve always wanted to do. Last year, I’d read an article on Indian women playing flower Holi, which in itself was a revolution. I wanted to express my sentiments about the issue in my own way. The film was shot by Bharat Sikka against the backdrop of the ghats of Benaras, where widows broke the centuriesold tradition for the first time.

You are a master collaborator—from jewellery to socks. Tell us what drives you to explore.

I have always referred to myself as a designer rather than a fashion designer because it gives me limitless possibilities to explore my creative side. I have a hunger to design and I love diversity. So each time I agree on
collaborating, it has to be a new product. I have always been interested in jewellery, home décor, timepieces and, if the energy is right, we go right ahead and collaborate. There are lots of interesting projects in the pipeline. Keep watching!

What are your views on the current state of Indian fashion? How has it grown over the years and where do you think we’re heading now?

The Indian fashion industry is growing at a decent pace but it’s too young currently. It has a long way to go before it reaches the international platform. While it has achieved much since I started my label in 1997 and is now globally recognised, there is a lot of ground to be covered to meet the international consumers’ demands. However, there are plenty of new designers to watch out for who are doing interesting work.

Who is your muse? How would you define the Manish Arora woman?

The Manish Arora woman is an independent and experimental woman. She is strong, powerful, breaks traditions and lives life on her own terms. My designs have been sported by icons like Katy Perry and M.I.A., women for whom I have a lot of respect and admiration.

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