Inside Manish Arora’s fall 2018 collection at Paris Fashion Week
Imagine a Japanese porcelain doll in an exaggerated fashion frenzy. That’s Manish Arora‘s fall 2018 collection for you. This season, Arora’s state of Zen is a balance of his signature bright colours, cherry blossom brocades and chrysanthemums etched out in thread work. Models wearing weighty silhouettes of knotted scarves and hand painted geta-inspired shoes strut down the runway, geishas of the modern world. He sends kimono renditions and sweatshirts declaring ‘Pink & Gold’ as his religion, down the runway. Hearts are perennial throughout the presentation and fabrics like neoprene and denim flirt raucously with the opulence of organza and raw silk.
Amidst the sunset hues and mystical midnight tones plucked from the robes of Merlin, you will spot China’s most famous emoticon, ‘Tuzki’. The quirky rabbit adds a playful element to the eclectic mix—a celebration of the news that the eponymous label will be launching five stand-alone stores in China this year.
What was the idea and inspiration behind this collection? What themes were you exploring this season?
The inspiration for the collection comes from the pristine spirituality, beliefs and uniformity of Zen. We’ve derived our stories from the most significant elements of the Japanese culture like the k0i fish, sakura, sand art and other stories that are inspired from a millennial’s perspective like Cloud Monster, which is a character from a bag series called ‘Boogiebombs’ and a popular emoticon called ‘Tuzki’. There’s an eclectic mix of moods in the entire collection and a unique spectrum of colours that we have worked with.
Tell us about the fabrics and detailing that went into the clothes.
The collection comprises of a wide range of surface development techniques varying from sequins work, French knots, appliqué, patch work, laser cut, digital printing and bead work. We’ve used fabrics like silk, brocade and wool. You will see a lot of mythical creatures inspired by Japanese folklore appearing in motifs and patterns on the clothes.
What are you most excited about for the show?
I’m always excited about all my shows and this time we have something new again. That is Tuzki! We have collaborated with Turner India for the international launch of a special Tuzki-inspired collection. Turner’s massively popular emoticon in China, Tuzki, has won millions of hearts. With this collaboration, I wanted to bring Tuzki out of China into the international market and there could been have no better stage than Paris Fashion Week. The collection is a story of Tuzki’s day in Paris where he is seen meditating below the Eiffel tower, chilling in his room with a glass of wine and watching nature from the window, highlighting the fascinating character that he is! You’ll get it when you see it.
A decade of showcasing at Paris Fashion Week behind you, what have all those years of showcasing on the Paris runway taught you?
It’s been a wonderful journey through and through, almost feels like it’s just the beginning. Hopefully, I’ll have many more years to keep the ritual going. One thing that all these years in Paris Fashion Week have taught me is that fashion is fearlessness. It’s not just fun and frolic but a way to live one’s life and means of survival just like engineers and doctors. Both the factors run hand in hand.
The subjects of your collections are always very positive, revolving around themes of love, and happiness—in what ways does this collection sum up the zeitgeist of the current time?
When times change, everything that surrounds us also changes with it, in some or the other way. Observing the change in realities around us, how people’s perception of life and reality is evolving every day, my collection is just a representation of how ‘Love’ is the only boundless energy directing us in our lives. That’s exactly why I say, “I have so much love to give that one is not enough”.