Celebrity fashion designer, Manish Malhotra who has mastered the art of offering bespoke experience to all to-be ladies at his store, concurs that fashion is not lone! In an exclusive chat with Surbhi Verma of The Lifestyle Journalist, the ace designer unravels his most cherished fashion moments in movies and fashion shows. He passionately talks about his first cocktail collection that he presented at Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2017.
Manish Malhotra’s Journey in Bollywood
Having painted the B-town with his mesmerising designs for over two decades, this man has got just about everything a successful designer can think of- from doing costumes for much-liked movies viz Rangeela, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil among others to top-rated fashion shows. He has not just changed the way women are dressed up in cinema but has also carved his niche as a top-notch fashion label in the country – ‘Manish Malhotra’, who doesn’t know him!
He recalls his last visit to the City Beautiful Chandigarh during the shoot of movie Veer Zaara and Dil Bole Hadippa. Working in the film industry has a lot to do with his childhood, opines Manish.
“My childhood revolved around theatre and costumes instead of school. Colours fascinated me. I recall that at the age of six I enrolled myself for painting and sketching class.”
“Flavour and enthusiasm for apparel was inborn. I recall that I used to point out follies in individuals’ outfits. For instance about their saree hues,” laughs Manish.
The 51-year-old designer still looks around for motivation. He has been a commitment driven person despite all odds, he concurs.
“Be it late night shoots, rehearsals, meetings or anything else work will always be my priority. If one is dreaming big then there is absolutely no replacement for hard work and I abide by this rule totally. I always want to do more,” he shares.
Manish has given countless new designs to the brides all over the world. He adds that a sense of newness is extremely important in this field while still keeping one’s flavour. “Though it is tricky to balance oneself in this industry, but one needs to give the best. If one keeps changing the real identification of the brand then it spoils the charm of wearing outfits of the brand! Earlier, I had rarely done any gowns for instance. But from past two years since the trend has set in and is flourishing so it is a part of my work too,” he adds.
Manish recently launched his cocktail dress collection at the Lakme Fashion Show. The collection amalgamates traditional weaving methods with the label’s fabulousness to create a line which is meant for festivity and is of interest to worldwide apparel lovers (with an Indian essence though!)
“For the first time, I have designed a collection of cocktail dresses. It is more youthful, brighter, with darker shades- something which I have not experimented so much for the ladies. In this collection, one can notice a step-up in terms of advancement in design technology. The collection is available at our leading store in Mumbai and New Delhi,” he proclaims.
He recalls how back in the time, Indian brides never used to experiment much with their outfits for ceremonies. But now as the society and fashion industry has grown, so have the people living in it.
“With a quick and easy access to online shopping now, it has brought a major change in the thought process of buyers who are open to new ideas. Indian couture avenues and the prospects of innovative designs have become more diverse,” he adds.
Manish shares how amazing he feels to see the growth in the (fashion) industry in the past few years. “Indian bride has evolved. She doesn’t mind being herself. She has a mind of her own and decides for herself. She also wants to flaunt her wedding outfits on the social media platforms. Even generally speaking, clients are aware of what exactly they want and how it has to be done.”
Manish on Winning The Filmfare Awards
“For me, winning the first Filmfare Award for the costumes of movie Rangeela was something that really pushed me towards achieving my dream. Working with legendary artists like Rekha ji, Shabana ji, Karisma Kapoor, Kajol, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Anushka Sharma, Alia Bhatt and others has been a delightful adventure. Over the years cinema has taught me so much and it has been the best teacher I could ever have. It taught me that costumes are so much beyond just being a piece of fabric, they are a fundamental element of the visual narrating process,” cites Manish.
Ever high on enthusiasm, he wants to add more to the fashion industry every single day. He recalls how earlier the costume designers who worked for movies were never allowed to suggest anything or have a say on looks and make-up. “With time, as costumes have become an important part of the storytelling process, things have changed. Working in twin industries of fashion and films has been a battlefield,” he adds.
“I still watch movies with great interest. While it requires a great deal of multitasking, I am exceptionally centered around the story that comes my way,” he adds.
One thing that makes him stand apart is that Manish always makes a point to address each customer who walks in his store. “At first we counsel and guide the customers and their families- on what kind of attire would suit them and keeping in mind their inclination we further converse with them about their preferences and help them purchase accordingly,” adds Manish.