This year, Manish Arora marked his 10th anniversary and there was no stopping him. At Paris Fashion Week, the maverick minstrel went all out—adopting a take-no-prisoners approach to prints and embellishments. The King of Pop is known for clashing sublime with ridiculous, mundane with avant-garde and kitschy with kink and the result is trippy always. At his Lakmé Fashion Week outing, he presented a parallel universe of his own making, where aztec prints had a conversation with Art Deco motifs and where peacock prints jostled with space imagery (think rockets, planets and constellations).
Music: The background pulsating music at this Lakmé Fashion Week show was part trance and part tribal adding to the zing and zest of the ensembles.
Ambience: It was an off-site show of the day at Lakmé Fashion Week. Mumbai's Palladium mall's escalators were transformed into Manish's signature shocking pink runway as models sashayed on it.
Highlight: Manish Arora's aesthetic has always invoked a strong air of joie de vivre. Happy clothes for happy people, should we say? Churning out sassy, crazy, goofball mix of creations seasons after season, thus marrying commercial and creative appeals has been his forte. Thumbing his nose at the preconceived notion of Indian kitsch and single-handedly crafting a need for such clothing and charting a niche is no easy task and Mr. Arora has managed to do that over a period of a decade. The entire mall was transmogrified into this kaleidoscope of colours with the shocking India pink Mississippi-long, serpentine runway stretching across the mall. Like a burst of unicorn, every look was drenched in signature Manish Arora treatment—an orgiastic glitter shower, an arresting jingle-jangle of sequins, intricately done hand embroidery, colour blocked patterns in the most exaggerated yet playful silhouettes.
Excavating from his previous runway presentations, the collection at Lakmé Fashion Week echoed Arora's strong love for pop chaos, of kawaii cool, with quintessential desi undertone. If Etihad would fly across inter space milky ways, definitely this show would mirror its co-passengers. In a nutshell, it's Judy Jetson on LSD. A panoply of prints from aztec, graphics to zebra skin, from hyper futuristic landscapes to art deco and geometric ones—the collection aimed at someone with a strong sense of identity. The Manish Arora muse is someone with a very individual sense of style and someone, who doesn't want to blend in but stand out and not play by any style rulebook. Every haberdashery made sense in the gleaming mix of Arora's pop palette. The gender-neutral styles on lean boys added notable queer undertones in Manish's jolly and happy universe. The designer's psychedelic army drenched in rainbow strutted down the escalators and took the runway into this magical realm of fantasy. His glam gypsy numbers always manage to inspire fervour among the coolest disco queens looking for something out of the ordinary and this offering did that without skipping an eccentric beat.
What we loved: From quilted dusters to sequinned bombers, each look captured the gleaming glitz of Indian festivity, transforming our mundane wardrobes into this circus of joy, one sequin at a time.
Beauty: The makeup and hair at this Lakmé Fashion Week show managed to complement Arora's upbeat eccentricity - every model was transformed into this trans-galactic Saharan, alien - with the hair meticulously wrapped in neon and gleaming fabrics. Pearl studded eyebrows and bindis on the forehead added to the kitsch finish.
Front Row: The King of cool Ranveer Singh graced the front row in a sequinned rainbow bomber looking exactly out of the Manish's cool school. His groovy moves in front of the shutterbugs had the crowds begging for more. Among other celebs were Siddhanth Kapoor and Sikander Kher.
What is Manish's Arora's recipe for happiness? Fancy ornamentations, vivid hues or a subversive take on colours and embellishments—perhaps a zany take on all of this presented with irrepressible wit!