July 21, 2016 Asmita Aggarwal

King of Persia

Manish Malhotra’s homage to the mystical beauty of Arabia unfolds through his aged velvets and subtle renderings of turquoise.

By Asmita Aggarwal

This November, Manish Malhotra’s flagship store will complete three years even as he celebrates 11 years of his label. Opening the show at the ICW 2016, this one being his third, he had two stunners walk the ramp—the heartthrob of millions Fawad Khan and the chosen one who has recently crossed over to Hollywood, the leggy Deepika Padukone.

It was Alexander, the film starring Colin Farrell and Angelina Jolie, directed by Oliver Stone that left an inedible mark on him. Manish wanted to create that cinematic brilliance on the runway through his reinterpretation of the magnificent architecture and the fascinating colour combinations. “It made a huge impression on me; I liked the usage of turquoise and it is subtly presented in the bridal wear which is not typically Indian,” he says. That’s why you see cut shoulders and variations of the off shoulder trends ushering in ‘Princess chic’.

(01)-20-07-16-Manish Malhotra-(ICW-2016)

The embroidery matches the period, and remains vintage which is why badla work, embroidery inspired by floral rugs and drape-y duppattas took centrestage.


“The blend is what makes it exciting and I am known for making Indian clothes, but this time I let the aged velvets, organza, textured silk and robust threadwork create the mood,” he smiles. That’s why the line was feminine, sexy and bold.

With most brides not shying away from being who they are, Manish admits that almost all of them come with a clear vision of what they want. “Out of five functions, most prefer to wear a Western outfit for at least one. That’s why I started doing gowns last year with my line the “Empress” story,” he explains, adding, “Being self-taught most of my learning comes from observing how I can apply that to design.”

Embracing fluidity he has attempted to mix global influences in couture, to make the line more interactive and his hues range from burnt reds, burgundy to dark browns. His menswear too has effective cuts creating luxury as the flavour remains a magical experience in the long lost lands of Arabia. “I have watched many international shows and I observed that they string together myriad colour palettes with embroidery techniques offering versatility and that was hugely appealing for me,” he concludes.

(01)-20-07-16-Manish Malhotra-(ICW-2016)

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