Indian Fashion Designer Manish Arora has left no jaw not dropped this year at Paris Fashion Week, showcasing his disco-gypsy collection on the runway. The show featured everything from hologram tops to extensively embroidered trousers to some interesting sequin skirts. To summarise the show in one word it was, “different”. The online blog ‘Jezebel’ had an interesting take on the dress, describing it as “a galactic pastry rave populated by space princesses in iridescent bike shorts with fanny packs”.
Manish Arora is known for his peculiar and often unusual designs, but perhaps this is what is needed in Indian fashion in order to be the first Indian brand to go international, or as Vogue like to call it “Adult territory”. He already has a long list of international A-list celebrity customers including Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Sonam Kapoor, Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj and Heidi Klum, with disco-punk singer Ebony Bones sporting his line in the album art for her upcoming EP.
Manish Arora understands that his designs are now viewed by the global market and therefore must be adapted to suit such a market. However, despite this he still admits that his biggest influence remains his home country, India. “Right now, everyone in London looks like a Kardashian,” Bones told The New York Times last week in an interview for which she was photographed wearing a headpiece by Arora. “You see it upheld as the ideal of femininity in fashion; it’s so boring.”
While Arora unashamedly aims to please a global market, he says his home country remains his biggest influence. “My culture and crafts deeply influence me – I love them,” explains Manish Arora on using traditional Indian crafts and arts, including hand embroidery, appliqué and beading.
Furthermore, he claims that although he is primarily based in Paris all his designs are produced back in India. “They’re all hand-cut,” he says. “It takes 20 days to make one skirt, with five people working on it.”
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