Manish Arora launches his latest collection – exclusively for men – for the first time ever, in association with the online fashion store KOOVS
From showcasing the illustrious Butterfly Dress (that took three-four months to create using embroidered butterflies) at the Paris Fashion Week in 2007 to the Merry-Go-Round dress (worn famously by Katy Perry at a music awards event in the same year), to changing the way the Indian bride looks, adding his signature touch of pop colours and eccentric designs, Manish Arora is a designer that does not follow a beaten track. His designs are not for the meek, the less-than-experimental; it’s for those who dare, people who would not shy away from the limelight.
Manish’s work has evolved over the years from being purely fantastical and dream-like; his creations are now more consumer-friendly. Today, he has found the balance between art and clothes that people would actually wear. But in no way has this dimmed his belief in originality, and staying true to his roots. His designs are a masterpiece with great amounts of craftsmanship, details in embellishments, play of textiles and embroidery.
But Manish Arora’s muse has so far been women, why menswear this time? He answers, “For a change! After establishing my name in the women’s wear market in India and globally, I thought it was the right time to dabble in menswear.” The collection ‘Indian by Manish Arora X KOOVS’ is a blend of varied inspirations that the designer picked up during his travels, however, the most dominant inspiration would be that of Temari Balls – embroidered, colourful thread balls which are highly valued gifts and may be used in hand ball games. It is a form of folk art that originated in Japan.
The collection comprises a range of apparel including jackets, shirts, T-shirts, vests, sweatshirts, trousers, shorts and accessories including backpacks, flipflops, socks and phone covers. The complete line features over 35 styles. The products are priced between `495 and `1,995 and is available exclusively on Koovs.com.
“I chose to collaborate with a platform like KOOVS in India to offer consumers an opportunity to own a signature Manish Arora product. We’ve incorporated a lot of lucid, colorful prints and graphics into this collection for the vibrant, fashion-forward man of today,” he explains.
Today men, and especially the Indian man, has come a long way. Says Manish: “The menswear fashion industry in India is much more accepting of change and experimentation than what it was some years ago. The modern Indian man is well travelled and educated about current trends. The style changes have been revolutionary – bright colours and edgy silhouettes, men’s jewellery, androgynous dressing – to name a few. I think the freedom of self-expression through your clothing without any form of gender bias has really been the turning point for us.”
Among his latest accolades is The Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur, France’s highest honour, for his accomplishments in the world of fashion. Recalls Manish: “It was surreal and I regard it as my highest accomplishment. Everything I’ve achieved since I began my journey pales in comparison with receiving this prestigious honour by the French government.”
n INSPIRATION: I don’t think inspiration strikes from any one thing. I am an avid traveller and a lot of my inspirations are derived from my experiences, the sights and sounds, culture, traditional arts and crafts and people I meet
HIS TAKE ON FASHION: Norm core is now a little passé. OTT done right is always fun
BANGALORE LOVE: The balance between tradition and modernity, it’s reflected in the food, fashion and architecture of the city. It boasts of a very cosmopolitan environment, home to people from around the country and abroad. This has contributed to the evolution of fashion as well. The city is also the manufacturing hub for retail and houses some of the leading e-commerce portals and fashion brands in India
PERSONAL STYLE: Depends on the occasion. I prefer my blacks in everyday life
FASHION IN INDIA: India as a country is known for its diversity in culture which has also served as the prime inspiration for the evolution of fashion over the ages. From the colour combinations in our ethnic costumes to the inimitable artisanal workmanship, India is a treasure trove of inspiration contributing significantly to global fashion today
TRENDY CELEBS: Jennifer Lopez, Sonam Kapoor, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry