… Or, Just Having Fun and Learning How to Play
In my many years as a fashion photographer, I have been privileged to have captured the couture designs of everyone from Dior to Pierre Cardin, from Viktor and Rolf to Karl Lagerfeld…
There is a name that started echoing in my circle that began to resonate so loudly, that one would have to be deaf not to take notice of. His designs are childlike, playful, poetic, hopeful and joyful. His profound understanding of the balance between color, texture, form and architecture is uncanny. He has an incredible sense of humor that on occasion is reminiscent of Castelbajac. But in reality, there is no other designer that can really be used to compare this brilliant artist to.
I began becoming aware of Manish Arora a few years ago and was finally able to implement the designs of Manish when working with Fashion Editor and Stylist Laurent Dombrowicz for our first collaboration for Harper’s BAZAAR China. I cannot tell you how amazed I was seeing the work of this brilliant prodigy first hand. If I could only use one word to describe his work, it would have to be PLAYFUL. His totally off the wall implementation and mixing of fabrics and materials are in my estimation, quite revolutionary.
Being that I studied Architecture, I could see many comparisons to some of the more Avant-Garde Architects like Kenzo Tang and Frank Gehry. However, Arora adds an interesting cultural infusion of a form of refined Bollywoodian Cinematic humor and hopefulness to his work that is a hybrid of Indian culture and an understanding of occidental sensibilities.
He has been called the John Galliano* of India. Yet I find his works far more Child Like, with a positive sense of total abandon in his attitude, which finally translates in to what I would like to call “Daydream Dressing”. His works are an incredible melange of Cotton Candy, Nougat and M&M’s, but structured and intelligent.
Does that make any sense at all? Being that I am not really a Fashion Writer, these are the first things that come to mind when I see his works. So forgive my naivety in not using the classic fashion vernacular when discussing this subject.
His humor and playfulness are an inspiration to me and for quite some time now, I consider Manish Arora one of the Brightest Stars in the Creative Arts. So rather than comparing him to Galliano, McQueen or whom ever, I would prefer calling him Manish Arora the Sultan of New Delhi.
Manish Arora is the new Creative Director for the fashion label Paco Rabanne. The first collection created by Manish for Paco Rabanne will be revealed in October 2011 at the Paris Fashion Week.