Where do you go after changing the way the Hindi film heroine looks? Where do you go after introducing the showstopper to the Indian catwalk? Where do you go after dressing the who’s who on the red carpet? Where do you go after completing two decades in design? Where do you go after rocking mainstream fashion along with the movies? Where do you go after dressing the country’s most famous brides? Where do you go after redefining glamour?
If you are Manish Malhotra, you simply go back in time. The designer presented a charming collection on Day 3 of Synergy1 Delhi Couture Week inspired by the “old world”.
Hours before his couture collection went on the catwalk in the capital, he recalled a scene from the 1952 film Daag where Usha Kiran wore a kurta with transparent lace full sleeves. “It was beautiful. Even this collection is about feeling beautiful. I am really bored of too much embroidery. This is inspired by the pre-Partition India of the 1930s. You can’t call them outfits, they are more like jodas. Just because it’s couture week I don’t have asymmetrical jackets!”
Yes that’s true. Just because it was couture week he didn’t have asymmetrical jackets. Instead, he had a parade of prettiness. It wasn’t as “old world” as he promised, but it was as “old world” as Manish could manage given his modern sensibility. Even with the embroidery bit, you realised that “too much” was the operative phrase.
But no one was complaining, because everything was just so beautiful. The colours (starting with ivories, going to peaches and mint, then aqua, then finally a raging red sequence), the make-up (signature smoky eyes and nude mouth) and hair (quite avant-garde, twin tube-like hairpieces), the silhouettes (they were really jodas — sheer kurtas with shararas, long jackets with layered lehngas, kurtis with gheraras, voluminous kalidaars with palazzo pants)... all super luxe and super-duper glam, the tassels teasing the gleaming ramp, the peek-a-boo backs teasing the audience....
The clothes were the real hero, but there was also one heroine. Sonam Kapoor (rumoured to be seeing her I Hate Luv Storys director Punit Malhotra, also Manish’s nephew) not as showstopper but show-opener — let’s call her an opening act. In a stunning red and white joda, a dramatic lehnga and a backless red long kurta-jacket, she just blended in with the models given her height and weight.
There were some heavyweights in the front row as well — Shweta Bachchan (quite cool in jeans, a boyfriend blazer and newly streaked hair), Natasha Nanda, Feroze and Alpana Gujral, original muse Urmila Matondkar, and a few seats down the aisle Sonakshi Sinha (previous show’s showstopper).