Manish Malhotra: Indian Weaves Have A Unique Story To Tell
Whether or not you’re familiar with the colossal business that Bollywood is or the ever-changing Indian fashion market, you’re bound to be acquainted with the one designer who is perfectly placed in the union of the two mega industries — Manish Malhotra. Well recognised as the man solely responsible for revising the sartorial moves of Bollywood’s leading ladies, the model-turned-stylist-turned-designer par excellence has been a game changer for 25 years running. Do we see him stopping at any juncture? No. In fact, it’s the earnestness in his design that makes him stand out in fashion and gives him an edge. Also, it is this same earnestness that has made his trademark Manish Malhotra style popular across fashion markets, be it India, Middle East or other Bollywood-loving parts of the world.
Post a preview of his upcoming collection Elements, the opening designer for this season of Lakme Fashion Week Summer Resort 2016 gave us an insight into how different his collection is from the previous years and his inclination for the revival of heirloom crafts.
How differently has this collection shaped up compared to your previous ones? Give us a sneak peek in terms of the colour story, silhouette and crafts/techniques used.
The collection is Spring-Summer Haute Couture, so it has a lot of emphasis on easy cuts and styles. This is my 11th year at LFW and the collection is glamorous and has global influences. It is all about festive celebrations and summer weddings. This season, you will see it in our richly-embellished gowns, lehengas with trails, breezy jumpsuits and structured tops and blouses in pastel hues of baby pink, powder blue, light green and orange.
The collection is based on the elements of nature. I recently shifted to my new home, which is surrounded by trees and nature, and I believe it is very calming, relaxing and soothing. The dichotomy of beauty and power present in the four elements – Earth, Water, Wind and Flame — is much like the play of confidence and demureness, and tradition and glamour, that we see in a contemporary bride.
We’ve hardly seen you succumbing to trends. Instead, you always look ahead to the revival of heirloom Indian crafts. How and when did this become a Manish Malhotra trademark?
I’ve been visiting weavers from Benaras, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh and what I have seen is amazing! I want to use a lot more handloom in my collections. The Regal Threads was my first collection crafted using this new design language and it received a phenomenal response. I love the texture of Indian weaves and the fact that each of them has a unique story to tell. The Regal Threads was my tribute to our weavers and craftsmen who have upheld centuries-old crafts traditions. It was a celebration of our couture heritage, colours and the glamour of India in the signature Manish Malhotra style.
Is there anything exciting that you’d like to share with us?
Every collection marks a milestone in my career. It has been 25 years since I first started as a costume stylist and 10 years since I created the Manish Malhotra label. As we begin a new decade, Elements will hold a special place for me as it marks both the culmination of a journey and the beginning of a new design story for me.