On a recent trip to India, I frequently ran into a designer name that I was not aware of up until then, Manish Arora. His name was in just about every Indian fashion magazine I happened to pick up, from Vogue India to Masala Magazine. I quickly came to realize that Manish Arora symbolizes to India what Versace symbolizes to Italy, a homegrown fashion icon whose designs reach out to an international audience. I decided to see for myself just how great this designer was and I was blown out of the water by what I found. He is one of the most playful and versatile designers to come out of the Indian subcontinent and his use of color placates even the most color hungry rainbow monger. His color choice definitely comes from his Indian upbringing as this country does not shy away from bright beautiful colors that manifest themselves in rich textiles, festival and house decorations, and even food. His designs are also a very interesting mix of Indian and Western and he incorporates them into his work subtly and effortlessly. Arora is at home with both the mostly Indian cast of Lakme Fashion Week in India as well as the cutthroat international catwalks of London and Paris Fashion Week.
For his Fall 2010 Ready-to-Wear collection, Arora delved into the whimsical with brightly colored wigs, bold and colorful patterns, and science fiction-like geometric designs. The Indian inspiration came in the form of peacock feather patterns on dresses and skirts, the almost blinding use of colors, and harem pants that have taken the fashion world by storm these days. Arora kept with the socks in heels trend that has recently been a hit in fashion circles and his heels are a sci-fi aficionado's dream. As a matter of fact, the whole collection screams 2100 instead of 2010. But Arora brings everything back to reality with 1920's inspired flapper dresses, one with a silver beaded top and peacock feather patterned bottom, a perfect mix of East and West. If you haven't already heard of Manish Arora, check him out: www.manisharora.ws/
Here are my favorites from the collection: