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Designer Manish Malhotra, who has played a key role in promoting Indian fashion globally and has enjoyed a successful run of over 25 years in Bollywood, says the constant battle he fights with himself to deliver better, keeps him occupied. “The one thing that keeps me busy and on my toes 365 days of the year is my work. The constant battle that I fight with myself to incessantly do better and deliver — definitely keeps me and my mind occupied,” Malhotra told IANS.
“Currently my Delhi flagship store is keeping me on my toes, which is currently sprawled over 9,000 sq ft in Mehrauli. It is being extended into India’s largest designer store. Other than that, I have finally got back to being a fitness geek and I am thoroughly enjoying myself doing that and living a healthy lifestyle,” he added. The designer spoke to IANS on the sideline of Textiles India 2017, an annual event with the objective to connect and collaborate with global manufacturers, investors and buyers. It is positioned as the first ever global B2B textiles event in India, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Minister of Textiles Smriti Irani and Minister of State for Textiles Ajay Tamta in presence.
As part of the exhibition, there will be two shows curated and produced by IMG Reliance Industries Ltd. The first, to take place later on Friday, is Evolution of Textiles of India, which will focus on innovations in craft and design of the country’s textiles.
It will feature looks from a combination of established and emerging designers and master craftsmen/weavers from across different textile traditions, languages and states of India. As many as 30 designers like Anamika Khanna, Anita Dongre, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Tarun Tahiliani and Malhotra will participate in the show.
Talking about his show, Malhotra said: “My collection is my tribute to India’s heritage, culture and the textile industry. While the pieces are simple — each of them has a hint of glamour — a Manish Malhotra signature.” “The collection is a blend of traditional and contemporary silhouettes in pastel hues such as the blush pink, champagne and powder blue. Meticulously crafted using the classic Chikankari embroidery from Mijwan, Uttar Pradesh — this collection is perfect for the modern Indian man and woman.”
Another show is the Indian Handloom Show, scheduled for Saturday. The vision of the show is to present a story of the India Handloom brand initiative launched by Modi on National Handloom Day in 2015. This initiative by the Ministry of Textiles focuses on branding high quality and defect-free niche handloom products with minimal impact on environment, increasing the earnings of the weavers and other stakeholders of the handloom industry and generating a special market space for handloom products.
The show will feature looks each from a combination of designers and labels from across India. Malhotra is glad that the “government has taken India’s pride and projected it on a global platform”. “Any change or new action must be well thought out and gradually presented to stakeholders. The first step has been taken with the introduction of the effort. What should come is the effort to build, nurture and mindfully sustain the conversation.”
And, projects or platforms such as the Textile India or the Make in India are much needed to build organised international platforms, giving both small and large businesses in the ecosystem a fair chance to play on the global field,” he said. “Our craftsmen are finally receiving the due credit and I believe such faith and support from the government has motivated the weavers’ community to only expand and bring more talent to this ever-growing fashion industry,” said the celebrated designer.
He believes in the power of India’s rich crafts and design heritage. “From our silhouettes to the weaves that make the drapes, each has a centuries-old genesis. Through the textiles and garment industry – this sector has lived up to the promise and potential in reviving India’s cultural identity.
“The last decade has definitely seen an enormous increase in the demand for Indian crafts and textiles. Both Indian and international designers have played a significant role in promoting these crafts through their spectacular design vision – taking the textile conversation from grassroots to glamour,” added Malhotra, who is now not only regular in India’s major fashion weeks but has also styled for over 100 Bollywood films and is a known name on the runways of Paris, Milan and New York.