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Sunday, June 20, 2021

‘Weddings have become more intimate now’: Manish Malhotra

“A digital live fashion show is viewed by millions sitting anywhere in the world. The reactions are immediate through comments and likes. How fabulous is that!” said the designer

Written by Jayashree Narayanan | Pune |
May 10, 2021 5:30:05 pm
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Manish Malhotra has carved a niche for himself in the fashion world. Today, he is among the leading designers and the first choice for Bollywood actors. From Kajol to Sara Ali Khan, the fashion designer has been a celeb favourite owing to his elegant and glamorous designs. Enjoying the response to his latest fashion film Nooraniyat, Manish is also looking at participating in this year’s Vogue Wedding Show 2021, which has gone digital this time. The luxury wedding exhibition, which is on till June 30, will showcase bridal lehenga, jewellery, and wedding services including décor and hotels.

In an exclusive conversation with indianexpress.com, the ace designer spoke about his latest collection, wedding trends, pandemic fashion, and more.

Tell us about Nooraniyat, your latest collection. 

Nooraniyat is a collection I have thoroughly enjoyed creating. It has a range that is expansive with kalidars, lehengas, gowns, jackets, shararas, kurtas, palazzos, dupattas, and signature blouses that fit diverse palettes and occasions. The collection is in sorbet and blush shades of bright pink, lilac, grey-blue, beige-gold, powder blue, metallic gold-silver among many others. It has deftly embroidered pieces to two-toned colour-blocked silhouettes that journey from classic aesthetics to a more dynamic new-age look of the contemporary times.

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How is the Vogue Wedding Show 2021 different for you this year?

I have been with the Vogue Wedding Show since its inception. It’s been a beautiful association always. This year VWS has gone digital, which is exciting. Earlier, when the VWS would take place physically, while many people visited us many others couldn’t make it for various reasons. Now with the VWS going online, it will be accessible to everyone around the world. How great is that! Anyone will be able to view the latest collection, connect with the designers and even choose the whole look from head to toe from the comfort of their homes. My collections Taban, Ruhaaniyat and Nooraniyat will be on for everyone to view and shop so there will be a variety of styles to choose from.

How have the pandemic lockdowns been for you?

I always look at the positive side of things. On a personal front, I lost 17 kgs during the lockdown and it’s been truly rewarding. I suppose this would have been difficult to manage with my regular schedule.

And professionally, I got my fair share of time to pause and think. Introspect, retrospect, and reinvent myself. I spent a considerable amount of time with my mother, watching movies, having tea together, and having quality time for myself – sketching, reading, painting. I’ve really grown to enjoy reading and fitness has also become a part of my daily routine. Overall, it’s been very good.

How is the fashion industry coping with pandemic-induced changes?

Necessity is the mother of all inventions. The pandemic required us to change the way we operated. Travel is restricted now, going out too much is not advisable, hence a lot of clients like to do online consultations now. I am doing so many of those and it’s brilliant because thanks to the world of technology we are all connected all the time. Moreover, I have started to make fashion couture films which is a whole new take on fashion shows. I have thoroughly loved the process of directing these films as much as I have loved creating and designing the new collections.

How do you ensure your creations are sustainable?

I think sustainability is one of the most important factors coming in. As a label, and as a first-tier designer today, I think it is very important for me to consider factors like technology, sustainability, and empowerment. For enterprises that are so trusted, or for any company, it is important for to move with these values. We are working on imbibing all of them in our journey. We work with an NGO for empowerment and are very particular about electricity and water.

Weddings have undergone a sea change amid pandemic. Has the wedding couture industry, too?

Weddings have become more intimate now. There are lesser people attending, but it’s still a special day for the bride, the groom, and their families who make memories for life. So they will still dress up for the occasion. The number of events has surely gone down, but even with a limited number of events, the atmosphere and the ambiance still remain special.

How do you perceive the Indian fashion industry’s digital makeover amid pandemic?

I have always believed that change is the only constant. I, for one, love the new digital trend. When I started doing fashion shows, only a limited number of people attended. The photos would release a day or two later and then we would wait to see the reaction of our clients. But today, everything is instant. A digital live fashion show is viewed by millions sitting anywhere in the world. The reactions are immediate through comments and likes. With my previous collection ‘Ruhaaniyat’, I launched my fashion films. I enjoyed the process so much that I decided to do it again, this time with my latest collection ‘Nooraniyat’ and I intend to do so with my future collections as well. The digital trend is only growing and to keep up with this trend is not only the wise thing to do for your brand but also gets you to learn so many different facets of the fashion world. I, most certainly, love the process and intend to keep up with it.

Who is your all-time muse and why?

There cannot be an all-time muse because each time, the essence is different. I like the individuality of every muse as it adds to the personality of the collection, hence it is indispensable for me to have a muse that reflects the essence of the collection.

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