Manish Malhotra goes grey

Aug 20, 2014, 08:48 IST | Ruchika Kher

Back for the fourth time, the upcoming fashion week’s grand finale designer, Manish Malhotra, spills the beans about his new collection and all things fashion

“This time, I’m introducing grey with silver in a bridal collection, which I have never done before,” the amiable Manish Malhotra tells us, giving a sneak peak into his upcoming grand finale show at the ongoing Lakmé Fashion Week (LFW). The show will see actress Kareena Kapoor as the showstopper.

Manish Malhotra
Designer Manish Malhotra, seen here with the models, during the fittings session of his upcoming show. Pic/Satyajit Desai

This will be Malhotra’s ninth show this year. “All the collections have been different,” reveals the designer, over brunch and in between hectic fitting schedules and last-minute collection fixes. “This line is meant for the new-age bride, who is unapologetically glamourous and prides in being an Indian,” he says.

“Inspired by actresses, who wear gowns on the red carpet, there is a lot of demand by buyers for something similar. So, these clothes are Indian in thought, yet very modern; it will have ensembles like a gown saree, a gown lehenga, etc,” he explains, pointing out that he has made a generous use of silk and velvet-textured fabrics and techniques like tie and dye, and mirror work.

For a few years now, Malhotra’s main focus has been his label and hence, he has drastically cut down on his film projects, which has led to “increased concentration on the kind of clothes being designed and improvement in quality.” As a result, the 47-year-old is also aggressively trying to penetrate the Delhi market, which he believes is “bigger than Mumbai.”

“I have been able to penetrate the market because the response has been overwhelming. There is a difference in choice in both the markets as well. While Delhi likes it heavier with more colour, Mumbai likes more modern silhouettes that are less heavy,” explains the designer, whose recent couture show in the Capital is being considered a hit.

While the accolades and profits pour in, Malhotra rues the fact that the film star connect attached to his work and his shows, takes away from his hard work. “Initially, people would say that my work is blingy and only film stars wear it. Somewhere, all my sales and my business, everything was attributed to film stars. But this is untrue. Because, if it were, how is it that other designers who have showstoppers don’t sell that much? So, it is easy to not give credit, but it is my hard work and my focus that is the reason for my success,” he stresses.

The self-confessed foodie, also feels that while healthy criticism is welcome, several times, many critics take themselves too seriously and start judging everything according to their perspective. “That is unfortunate,” he admits.

Finally, when we asked him that if the demand for his signature lines comes in the way of his experimental side, the designer was practical, “When you are new, you must experiment, because that’s how you are going to make a mark. But in my position, where I have an established label, clients waiting for my new collections; with 300 embroiders and 110 tailors working on clothes, there is a business that you run and there is a certain credibility that you have.”

He admits that he cannot let people down by suddenly being self-oriented. “I owe a responsibility to many who want to wear my designs,” he says, adding that he would never want to take way from the history, the philosophy of the brand and the language that he understands when it comes to fashion.

The show will take place on August 24

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