nown for casting a magic spell on the ramps, Manish Malhotra’s opening show ‘A Summer Affair’ for the Lakme Fashion Week Summer Resort 2014 was no different. Bollywood’s most-loved designer set the ball rolling for the week ahead with a collection that spelled soft feminine charm and romantic subdued opulence. Watched by celebrities from the front row, Manish once again proved his credentials as he sent out one model after another clad in what others could only define as a dream.
Celeb watch: Manish’s shows are as famous for their clothes as they are for the glitterati who occupy his front row. Bollywood sisters Kajol and Tanisha, the sizzling Kangna Ranaut, Ameesha Patel, Tusshar Kapoor, Sonali Bendre, Esha Gupta, Zayed Khan and Lisa Haydon cheered for Manish as he took the final bow on the stage.
The mood: The set was something akin to a dream sequence, as models made their way through a maze of trees and thick foliage hanging from above. It was as if a painter had unleashed his imagination on a canvas, weaving a story nothing short of a fairytale. The mood was but naturally romantic, with the colour palette —- pristine whites, ivory, beige, pale pinks, powder blue and a smattering of navy —- of the clothes lending itself to this dream.
The music: Strains from Barfi! to Meryl Streep’s The Devil Wears Prada matched the tempo of the models while the final sequence was a run of the famous original sound track from Hollywood classic Exorcist.
The inspiration: Romance was the underlying theme throughout the collection. In the designer’s own words, “A Summer Affair influenced by the romanticism that exists in today’s day and age… where layers and boundaries are surpassed… the young in love are distracted and are expressing their individuality. Summer 2014 for me is about the feelings and emotions this modern day romance evokes.”
The clothes: Tone on tone as well as contrasting embroideries were abundant through his sarees, lehengas, anarkalis and kurtas of varying lengths. Zipper details on the kurtas and blouses gave a utilitarian and edgy touch to the feminine silhouettes. While Manish’s collections are always replete with embroideries and embellishments of all kinds, this time we saw prints too – big, bold florals for both men and women – in dreamy pastels that echoed the mood on the set.
Organza, georgette, tulle and Chantilly lace formed the backdrops for surface embellishment, giving a light and summery feel to the breezy silhouettes. For men, there were sharply tailored sherwanis and jackets in colours and prints that complemented those on the women.
The look: The models wore their hair side-parted with soft updos. Fresh, dewy makeup and coral lips perfectly complemented the romantic mood of the clothes.
Showstopper: Sonakshi Sinha sashayed down the runway in a navy semi-sheer dress that had a solid bodice and a sheer bottom half with graduating checkerboard pattern and floral embroidery, worn with navy flared pants.
What we loved: Tonal embroideries in all hues pastel were beautifully done, and barely-there shimmer that glistened under the play of light and shade were some of the aspects to watch out for.
Talking point: Big blooms on structured menswear was a refreshing new look for the modern, metrosexual man – the muted colours made it dandy without looking feminine. Give us more blooms on boys, and we will be gasping for more.
Final words: Pastels, lightweight fabrics, breezy silhouettes and intricate embroidery – the perfect ingredients that make a summer collection that’s easy on the eyes yet dressy enough for evenings. Manish Malhotra delivered once again, sticking to what he does best.