paris fashion week: manish arora
(images via style)
are you ready for some goodgood times!?! okay, i know, it feels like we were just discussing that very concept (and so we were, with the blumarine show), but it still feels pertinent today, and in some ways more so, because we’re about to turn our attention to the s/s 2013 manish arora show at paris fashion week. although i didn’t realize it, we’ve been covering the designer’s work pretty much since the beginning (of this site, that is; see f/w 2010, s/s 2011, f/w 2011, s/s 2012, f/w 2012), and have been, in each case, guaranteed a riotously amusing ride.
of course, at the moment, i’m kind of feeling like the theme of the season is to scale things back (mary katrantzou, for example, was much more commercial, while topshop unique lost a lot of the verve in ‘growing up’, and even sass & bide shed most of their print and colour for a collection that felt that much more austere; we haven’t yet got to louise gray or meadham kirchhoff, either, and i don’t want to begin to think about that lest i start to cry), and if the next thing you try to argue is that there was still a lot of pizazz here (i know. and don’t even try that. this is manish arora, after all), i’d agree, but then, again! one must forever remember with whom we’re dealing.
that of course isn’t for a moment to say the spring collection didn’t have a lot going for it. it certainly did, but overall i got the sense we were looking at a bunch of supremely wearable clothes, made more eccentric for their styling than for anything really avant-y in the way of cuts or design. and because the movement into the commercial is such an immediately slippery slope, perhaps you can understand why i’m beginning to get all nervous and twitchy. but before we turn to the critics, i really do want you to know i loved those fifties-eque retro day dresses (particularly the leopard print/spotted number on sessilee lopez, at top).
and so. what, praytell, did the arbiters of all things fashion have to say on the subject? well. “As a sartorial homecoming of sorts,” reported fashion week daily, “Arora delved wholeheartedly into his Indian heritage with his latest: gilded to the max, a cadre of kurtas (tunics), and nearly show-stealing baubles entwined on wrists, collarbones, and draped from the crowns of mods’ sleek coiffures. Exuberantly patterned and freshened-up iterations of the tunic were underpinned by scaly-looking metallic leggings or peculiarly intriguing sheer skinnies bunched at the ankles…collarless, boxy toppers both mid-thigh and hip-grazing in length, billowing pants…the whole lot of it erring on the crux of surreal and trippy. “
and according to the ap, “’(l)uckily, this year I was very attracted toward jewelry: Is there a better place to draw inspiration?’ said Arora, dressed in a flamboyant gold top. Arora took us by the bejeweled hand down a goldmine of revamped traditional Indian dress. Angrakha dresses with orange patterns were set of boldly with a shiny chainmail pant, alongside geometric prints of tigers, panthers and antelope. However, the show was really about the jewelry, as sublime ornamentation reined in some of the collection’s more garish looks. At one point there were gasps as the Maharaja’s daughter came down the catwalk: Resplendent in a standout gold face-band that circled the bottom of the eyes.”
elsewhere, fashion bomb daily trilled that the designer “was influenced from within and brought the vibrant heritage of his own Indian culture to life with beaded headpieces and jewelry (a part of his collection with brand Amrapali), tiger motifs, bold makeup, metallics, [and] exotic skins…Printed and embellished tunics were layered over shimmering skinnies while gold sky-high platform cage sandals clung to the models’ feet. Trousers covered in medallion and chain prints added to the glitz of the collection…Leopard print was splattered on cropped trousers, the sleeves of a tiger motif sweater,…the pleated overlay of an embellished skirt, on the trim of a long-sleeve wrap dress…Arora transformed the fierce patterns, making them playful and feminine.”
meanwhile, wwd described how “(i)n a welcome move, his interpretation had a distinct vibe without, for the most part, feeling too literal. He updated the country’s pastel pinks, blues and greens, and worked traditional jewelry motifs into ornamentation prints and embellishments. Arora put the razzle-dazzle into every look, sometimes getting a bit carried away. Thus less was more on the prettiest of the bunch, such as a crisp light-blue T-shirt with a gold beaded neckline and a long tiered necklace adornment, paired with a wide skirt in a chain and brooch print. A T-shirt with shoulder embroidery and a tiger-head motif topping skinny jeans (a collaboration with Notify) also looked fresh.”
finally, said the iht's suzy menkes, “(p)astels, muted colors (give or take the gilding) — could this really be...Manish Arora ?…the show…was much more subtle, with patterns presented on slim, simple dresses and tunic and pants — all the rage for the summer 2013 season — looking stylish rather than ethnic. Mr. Arora can draw on impressive Indian craftsmanship. But he kept elaboration to the minimum until the final ensemble. He may turn out to be the first Indian designer who can conquer the international market, and his future could be as bright as silvered surfaces and the inevitable gilded hose and sandals.”
(check out the collection video here)