If we said the number of people wearing his designs in the audience outnumbered the models on the ramp, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration. Manish Malhotra, Bollywood’s most-popular clothier, opened the Summer-Resort 2014 edition of Lakme Fashion Week with yet another collection that was quintessentially Malhotra.
With a soundtrack that opened to the strains of Anoushka Shankar’s sitar, Malhotra unfolded his collection ‘A Summer Affair’ in a routine reversal of sorts in colour schemes. Actor Sonakshi Sinha opened the show in navy blue and then the palette slowly wound down with grey, ecru, powder blue, ivory, beige and finally ended with a line of soft floral prints.
Most of the collection was tried, tested and perfected Malhotra fare — the trademark thread embroidery, floor-sweeping silhouettes, deep backs and flowing sheers we have come to expect of him — leading to a sense of deja vu mid-way through the show. You couldn’t fault us for mooning over the lace-covered jootis and kitten heels instead.
But a line of separates in floral prints, a first for the designer, proved to be a pleasant interlude. What really caught our attention though was Malhotra’s nod to the sportswear trend with visible zipper detailing and his slouchy pleated full-length skirts and wide palazzos with pockets. We couldn’t help wishing for more of the same.
The menswear collection was sharp, with stitch detailing on jodhpurs, fitted shirt kurtas and ankle-skimming pants, though the tone-on-tone embroidery and floral jackets were a tad reminiscent of Sabyasachi Mukherjee’s fall line. All in all, the summer bower that the ramp was transformed into for Malhotra’s presentation could have definitely done with an ebullient shot of sunshine.
by Kimi Dangor