Manish Malhotra

Films in Fashion – 2016 – Bollywood edition

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It is that time of the year that we look back on the past year to see who made an impact on fashion, who set trends and who aced it in terms of costumes in movies in Bollywood. From fabulously styled to chameleon character looks transforming the actors, this year Bollywood dabbled in both regional and contemporary themes with its costumes within movies. From looking fab to getting down and dirty, the hindi movies explored it all in a range of movies. While there were many like Neerja and Dangal where the costume meshed so well with the character that you hardly notice it (the best thing a costume designer Read the rest of this entry »


Manish | Manish

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The bollywood designer as he is often proclaimed to be Manish Malhotra’s presentation at the couture week revolved around in his safe zone with his signature silhouettes. The collection primarily in shades of golds, concluded in the bring Punjaabi red with gold work on it. While the embroideries were worth the second look, the ones on reds failed to strike that chic cord and came across as much more of an attempt to go traditional but not quite reaching there. A fun feature in womenswear was the use of jackets and sherwanis with the extra over flared ghararas and skirt. However we have seen the designer pair the two previously too with a tailored top and a flared bottom therefore was hardly a surprise. His menswear, barring the finale one, was much more rich in tones and treatement and the dhaka and aligarhi pajamas cut to perfection (that is no mean feat). One of the ensembles, a tweed like texture with blue sleeves definitely caught my eye for all the right reasons but overall, the presentation lacked the require punch and was too predictable even for the designer

At the other end of the spectrum, the namesake Manish (Arora) presented a collection that like his aesthetic was full of character and personality. His woman is fierce and with that personality is definitely not for the faint-hearted. Manish is known to give Indian elements unsual twist and this time too with his off site offering did exactly that. With psychedelic prints, bright colors, he showcased why is he the internationally acclaimed designer that he is. Multicolour stripes, gold rexine embroideries, and 3D highlighted on bases of bright colour were some of the highlight of this psychedelic collection. Applique, zari, peacock textures and traditional embroideries were given flour scent treatments over constant colored bases. He paid his ode to Japanese aristocracy with the craft of Temari which is reserved only for it. Highlighting the techniques, each garment was distinguished by a special colour ranging from emerald green and fuchsia, to red and electric blue, with accents of pearls and gold embroidery. In a variety of silhouettes, I did get an Ali Xeeshan deja vu feeling, but again Japanese elements are bound to ring a bell if the source of inspiration is same. One might feel with such busy-ness of his designs, the presentation felt a bit gimmicky, but then again, if you see the whole thing in context of separates, you’d see the limitless options and that is where the designer scores points.

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A lesson in Bollywood Fashion History

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And he is back to his comfort zone. Presenting a collection that is right up his alley, Manish Malhotra paid a tribute to the 100 years of cinema concluding the first day of Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2013. This year, which marks 100 years of Indian Cinema, has 4 filmakers namely, Karan Johar, Anurag Kashyap, Dibankar Bannerjee and Zoya Akhtar coming together for a film titled Bombay Talkies in honor of 100 years of Indian Cinemas. With the bollywood brigade behind him, Manish’s collection presented the same spirit through fashion.The show started with four filmmakers of “Bombay Talkies”, followed by occassional appearances of bollywood stars, obviously, namely Priyanka Chopra, Kajol, Karishma Kapoor, Asha Bhosle, Bhanu Athaiya, Siddharth Malhotra and Varun Dhawan.

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The show started off with the black n white era of 40s comprising mostly of lehngas and kurtas with styling done to compliment them strutting down the runway. This was followed by the burst of colours with anarkalis and fitted shalwars and churidaars made popular by the actresses like Sadhna, Madhubala and Meena Kumai. Then came in the the era of  polka dots and the flower power and wrap saris popularized by Mumtaz, and checkered jackets of Rishi Kapoor, followed by modern apparel. The designer went all out and brought the bollywood glamour to the fashion show, in his theatrical presentation. Though not flashy, his clothes had that theatrical appeal, which was needed for this kind of presentation. You need drama when you are showcasing Bollywood, so why hold back. OTT, Bollywood glam and theatrical are the labels that are usually associated with the designer and he wears those labels out and proud.

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A far cry from his Phulkari collection (which was a pleasant surprise), this collection was sort of what we have come to expect from Manish, given the theme. Though not much of a fan of Mr. Manish’s glam designs, one has to give him credit to bringing and revolutionizing the fashion in Bollywood by dressing characters. Having said that, the did show some good pieces which I think deserve mention. My picks had to be neon sari sported by Priyanka, A black and white sari with embroidered border and blouse, The light coral jacket worn by Siddharth, the brown sari with bling border and the gold double layered jacket. Also not to forget, the bandhgala sported by Anurag Kashyap with its graduating details.

P.S. we did get a hint of the phulkari collection he did on Karishma Kapoor.

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*Images from

Not-so-Manish Malhotra???

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mm1 mm2 mm3 1875_10151817695432785_212338582_n 65543_10151817696247785_696073584_n 69830_10151817695942785_701810388_nWhile this bollywood designer is known for his extravagant bling and anarkalis, Manish, surprisingly, brought more than that to the forefront in this show. Adorned with Phulkari and Bagh embroidery, Manish continued his run of being an advocate of promoting the Indian crafts on an international circuit through fashion. While his last few shows resided in zari work from kashmir and chikankari from UP, this time around he found his inspiration in Punjab.

Not veering away from his signautre silhouettes, Manish put up an impressive display of craft infused garments. Elongated silhouettes as well as loads of sheer play was incorporated along with the craft weaving it into an contemporary context. Jackets, kurtas and anarkalis for women while men sashayed in bandhgalas and kurtas. In bright and spunky colors, combined with rich mustard yellow, navy blue, deep rust, earthy olive and intense red. Apart from that he just had to have his signature bling in his show, though am glad this time it was toned down. Being a graduate in the discipline of textile design, I felt that craft intervention was commendable in commercializing the craft. Though its about time he has his fun with fashion and plays with a variety of silhouettes too.

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Loads of texturization on georgette, net and raw silk was done. However, what caught my eye were two phulkari embroidered shawls, A beige mustard bandhgala paired with a navy blue kurta and deep red turban, the black n white phulkari embroidered kurta (coz it stripped the phulkari off one of its basics i.e. the color), and the long jackets one in deep mustard and ochre tones and other the bright one worn by jacqualine fernandez.

And how could the show not have Bollywood presence. Siddharth Malhotra, Eesha Gupta and Jacqualine Fernandez graced the ramp.
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