Manish Arora was full of joy backstage after his show. In fact, you might say that he was flying high – but not just because his theme of the season was reaching up to the cosmos. He was celebrating 10 years showing his collections in Paris and also being presented last month to Queen Elizabeth II in London as part of an Anglo-Indian event.
So there were many reasons to celebrate with wavy lines and a galaxy of stars or moons. Try that same intergalactic print on a multi-colored padded coat – and note that even the handbags were moon-shaped as they glistened with color.
For the last few seasons, the designer had been camping it up in small shows in his Paris office with a dog dyed blue to match the clothing and other jokey larks. This was the right moment to come back to a full show at the Grand Palais where the Indian workmanship was given the space to shine.
That was a literal vision of a sporty India with sweat tops made of silk, patterned with stars and space stations. Add to that three dimensional decoration in fringes of vivid colors forming a feathery necklet.
Manish had not lost his sense of fun. The crochet squares that have been in fashion at least since the folksy Seventies were shown here as digitalised patterns on a silken dress, while men’s turbans were re-established in a whimsical way as scarfs morphing into hats.
There is an elegance to Indian clothes, and the designer caught that regal touch in a velvet dress with a Paisley curve illuminated with Swarovski crystal. And with so many designers today embracing pattern and print only via digital means, the authenticity of this designer’s Aztec prints was impressive.
Manish called the visual journey from India to outer space “Cosmic Love.” Write that in a rainbow of colors.