Designer Manish Malhotra's name spells Bollywood bling, society style mavens and the who's who of the country's veritable style lists. What makes him the ultimate darling of B-town beauties and the NRI brides? Is it his unapologetic take on glamour? What makes him ahead of the style curve? The iconic Bollywood stylist and now a major fashion powerhouse to reckon with, has always stayed true to his brand of single-mindedly pretty aesthetic. He's owned his space and managed to successfully carve his insignias –think cascading floral appliqué embroidery, luscious and gleaming velvet, a dance of sequins and beads on sheer fabrics, and of course, the voluminous and floor-sweeping trains and capes.
Theme: For the grand finale of Lakmé Fashion Week, Manish focused on a western and cocktail line ideally suited for an evening of drama or a midnight rendezvous, titled ‘Tales of Indulgence’. Also, the designer brought focus on menswear with his cool tailoring and styling techniques.
Highlight: What made this outing at Lakmé Fashion Week special was Mr. Malhotra's custom-made menswear. The designer toyed with evening suits, tuxedo jackets with gleaming lapels, floral corsages and appliqués adding to the dapper appeal of the menswear ensembles. The monochrome double breasted jackets and shawl-collared lapelled suits stood out along with tulle bow-tie. The suits were crafted using varied textiles and textures spanning evening wear, club-wear, festive and occasion-wear. With this collection, the designer aims to introduce a bespoke tailoring service at his stores in New Delhi and Mumbai. Baggy pleated pants with ruched ankles and long velvet coats with peak lapels, double-breasted velvet numbers with fur emphasis on the shoulders gave this line-up a sense of totality. The array of floral embroidered jackets with beaded lapels and contrast collars is going to appeal to the fashion-conscious male itching to experiment.
The women’s wear at this Lakmé Fashion Week show didn't disappoint either. The Manish Malhotra bride looks for prettiness, feminity along with a hint of sexy—she loves a sliver of décolletage flashing and enjoys giving a naughty peekaboo into her toned legs here and there. His muse is someone who clearly enjoys being the centre of attention and embraces her inner Cinderella wholeheartedly.
The womenswear line-up at this Lakmé Fashion Week show comprising mini dresses, off-shoulder knee-length numbers and gowns had a I-Want-It-Now appeal. An arresting array of crystals, sequins and zari along with giant beaded tasselled accents evoked instant likeability. He brought the focus back on the corsets, which were teamed with feathered skirts, slit gowns, ornate lehengas or as minis with long shoulder capes. It's hard not to fall for the charm of faux fur mingled with beads and sequins. In a scenario where everyone's cutting corners, there are talks of tightening the belts, it takes an optimist like Mr. Malhotra to indulge in a bit of laid-back decadence.
Ambience: It was a gleaming runway at Lakmé Fashion Week resembling a night club with mood lighting and hanging metallic stripes, adding to the pulsating party vibe.
Music: The groovy club score added gravitas to the Lakmé Fashion Week show as Manish's party-loving, lotus-eating girls and caviar-guzzling boys took to the ramp with effortless élan. The music selection is always the highpoint of a Manish Malhotra show and the designer did not disappoint.
Beauty: The models sported dramatic hair—a play of volume and waves. The nude and classic makeup at this Lakmé Fashion Week show was accented with bold and gothic pout adding to the femme fatale vibe, which complemented the sensuous feel of the creations. The makeup for this collection created by Lakmé Makeup Expert, Sandhya Shekar was kept very classic and something that matched the cocktail vibe. The highlight of the look was the modern-day interpretation of the smoky eyes and bold, strong lips.
Front Row: Sushant Singh Rajput, Karisma Kapoor, Amrita Arora, Pinky Reddy, Sonali Bendre-Behl, Surily Goel, Anaita Shroff Adajania, Karan Johar, Diana Penty, Shriya Saran, Richa Chadha, Nandita Mahtani, Kanika Singh and Sooraj Pancholi.
What we loved: We loved the beaded off-shoulder dress with black butterflies detailing across the hem and also the feathered cape outfit with sheer and beaded stripes.
Showstoppers: Aditya Roy Kapur cut a sharp figure in a tuxedo with shine-on lapels and collars. He completed his look with a pair of black matching suede loafers. Jacqueline Fernandez hit all the sexy style notes in a sheer and opaque evening gown with cascading abstract floral embroidery in pop tones.
All in all, it was a va va voom end to Lakmé Fashion Week with the who's who of Bollywood making their presence felt.