Fuelled by Fashion

Friday, 31 May 2013 - 10:11am IST | Agency: DNA
Ahead of his show in the city, After Hrs got talking with ace designer Manish Malhotra. Now, the subject may have been fashion, but the conversation was anything but staid.

Manish Malhotra is a morning person. But well, when you are somebody who’s got to juggle a dozen projects amid travelling, attending soirées and giving interviews, ‘seizing the day’ is a mantra you learn to live by, day in and day out. But more on that later.  

After Hrs got talking to Manish Malhotra because the ‘designer with the mostest’ will be visiting Bangalore this weekend for the launch of the Bangalore-based fashion and lifestyle website, Styletag. And to make the visit worth his and your while, Manish will be showcasing his collection which is his grandiose salute to 100 years of Indian Cinema.

“My clothes are not on Styletag as yet but the reason I agreed to associate myself with the label is because I like the idea of style portals such as these that are fastidious not just about having talented designers on board but are just as conscious in terms of the quality of their offerings and also delivering the orders within the time promised,” reacts Manish to our initial question of what got him interested to get on board the venture. And then of his accord and without further prompting, he hastens to add, “The show also offered me an opportunity to showcase my collection inspired by 100 years of Indian cinema, so I readily agreed.” “We’ve taken it to Vancouver and now we’ll be bringing it to Bangalore,” he chimes.

While on the collection, the inevitable question one has is if he regards it as a pet project, especially considering his close association with films. “Of course it was,” he answers without a pause adding, “Indian cinema is close to me and I enjoyed every bit of working on the collection — right from designing the clothes to selecting the music and even how the models walked, I was involved with every aspect of the show.”

The collection, without a doubt, was the talk of the town, during the Lakme Fashion Week SS ’13 where Manish had first unveiled it, for the grand spectacle it was. Everyone from next-gen stars like Varun Dhawan and Sidharth Malhotra to to veterans like Bhanu Athaiya and Asha Bhosle walked the ramp for him. “Every review also spoke about the clothes,” Manish carefully points out before proceeding to answer our question of what can Bangalore expect from the show? “There is a story in the clothes I’ve designed, and so the show in Bangalore is going to be about the clothes.”

As much as we try, the one topic that realy can’t be ignored is the recent Cannes festival where Indian fashion got attention for all the wrong reasons. Not just that, it also got everybody from a fashion columnist to the regular girl-next-door in the country turning into a fashion critic. Quiz him on his take of this vitriolic behaviour and Manish sharply points out, “How can you stop the opinions? It is social media and everybody has a voice, what can you really do about it?” Even as he concedes that he’s taken the entire deluge of opinions with a pinch of salt, he says, “It is quite natural that with the bouquets come the brickbats. And as a designer all you can do is listen to it and continue to do what you believe in.”

Arriving at the end of the conversation, Manish gamely rattles a huge list of the projects that are keeping him busy today.  “I am busy with my nephew’s (Punit Malhotra) film, Gori Tere Pyaar Mein where I’m doing the clothes for Imran and Kareena; I have Krissh 3, then there’s Lootera. The work just goes on...” he quietly surmises. This prompts us to wonder what is the energy drink that fuels him and he laughingly signs off, “Nothing really. My work is my life.”


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