A sneak peek into Manish Malhotra's opening show at LFW 2019
Once criticised for introducing frivolity to fashion shows with showstoppers and star-studded front rows, Manish Malhotra only kicked off a trend that's now the norm.
Drama off and on the ramp — that is Manish Malhotra's show, ladies and gents. Once criticised for introducing frivolity to fashion shows with showstoppers and star-studded front rows, he only kicked off a trend that's now the norm. At the designer's opening show on Tuesday night for Lakmé Fashion Week at Famous Studio, the front row was a full deck of perfectly shuffled Bollywood cards, with Karan Johar — its King face card, obviously — squarely seated in between Ishaan Khatter, Aayush Sharma, Khushi Kapoor, Dia Mirza, Athiya Shetty, Mrunal Thakur, Amrita Arora Ladak, Sophie Choudry, Kanika Kapoor and Chitrangda Singh.
Katrina Kaif turned showstopper for Manish Malhotra's show
A special shout-out to Karisma Kapoor, the actor quietly disrupted the full-on bedazzled front row in a shimmering black sequinned saree, swept-back hairdo matched with squeaky-clean make-up. The "all-important front row" also revealed snapshots of industrialist Yash Birla, designer and politician Shaina NC, socialite and jewellery designer Queenie Singh, and Aarti Surendranath. Can somebody please tell Aparshakti Khurana that loud guffaws are not part of the front row package?
On the ramp, there was a different kind of drama. Malhotra loves drama. Pick an avatar, he told the humble choli. Spoiling his fans for choice, he offered them mind-boggling options as the Hindu pantheon offers the devotee. He stripped the blouse, dumped coy for sexy, to reveal tinsel curtain panels dangling on arms, at times overstated with cape and soaring peplum details, and slitting its back and front neck to lend a risqué vibe to the stuffy bridal choli.
Manish Malhotra and Pooja Hegde. Pics/Bipin Kokate
No discourse on saree intervention is complete without Malhotra's contribution. Priyanka Chopra in Desi Girl: the first image that pops up is the hammered metallic saree with a slinky blouse, right? Nostalgia is attractive if not tempting. The runway presentation felt predominantly about lehengas and cholis, and about varying shades of Bollywood; Katrina Kaif closed the show in what could be the longest pose-and-pout parade. The real showstopper was a pair of sensual sarees, in dull gold and pistachio, reminiscent of the Desi Girl saree legacy. Sometimes it is okay to stick to the signature glamour comfort-zone, Mr Malhotra.
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