Mumbai: The year 2015 is special for him as it marks his quarter century as a stylist for him and 10 years of his label Manish Malhotra. The designer, who has played a key role in promoting Indian fashion globally, says that fashion weeks have come a long way since the time he started out and that business acumen and creativity now go hand-in-hand. “Today, fashion is not a trivial pursuit. It is as much about business acumen as it is about creativity,” the designer said at the Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) summer-resort 2015 here Thursday.
With the LFW celebrating its 15th years, Malhotra is glad that the Indian fashion industry is now being looked at as an organised unit. ”
With the advent of Lakme Fashion Week 15 years ago, I think we have taken giant strides in moulding Indian fashion into a more organised unit with an international outlook,” said the designer, who ventured into mainstream designing in 1998. He received appreciation for creating glamorous ensembles with traditional Indian colors, craftsmanship, textures and embroidery at his first fashion show in November 1999.
During In over 20 years of his career, he has received nearly 35 awards. Malhotra is now not only regular in India’s major fashion weeks but has also styled for over 100 Bollywood films and is a known name on the runways of Paris, Milan and New York.
The designer feels that there is great demand for contemporary Indian fashion in the West, and so, it’s important to promote the country’s strengths globally – with the right balance.
“It needs the perfect balance of relevance, creativity and business acumen to go international. This is valid for Indian labels going abroad and vice-versa. Having said that, I do believe that there is a demand for contemporary Indian fashion in the West. The fascination with our range of colours and the sensuality of our cuts and silhouettes makes it very exciting to design for the international style-enthusiast,” Malhotra maintained.
The creative talent has dressed the likes of Kajol, Karisma Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor, Rani Mukerji, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Preity Zinta, Deepika Padukone, Sonam Kapoor and Alia Bhatt from tinsel town.
Recounting his journey as a costume designer for Bollywood films, he said: “To me, costumes are an important sub-set of visual storytelling.”
“My costumes for films have been a translation of the personality of the protagonist – be it for Urmila in ‘Rangeelaa’, Karisma in ‘Raja Hindustani’ or Deepika in ‘Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani’. Each of these characters had an unapologetic sense of individuality expressed in their costumes. As for working with young talent, I am always up for it,” he said.
What next? “We definitely have lots to do this year. As I said, it is a very special 2015 for me and with reference to what next… Let me surprise you as and when it happens,” he concluded with a smile.
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