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Pics: Manish Arora blends India, Nevada on Paris catwalk

Last updated on: March 5, 2013 18:44 IST

Pics: Manish Arora blends India, Nevada on Paris catwalk

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Here's a glimpse of Manish Arora's fashion show during the recent Paris Fashion Week.

Mumbai-born fashion designer Manish Arora returned to the Paris Fashion Week on February 28 with his Ready to Wear Fall-Winter 2013-2014 fashion collection.

He was last there in September, to show his spring-summer 2013 collection, which was a vibrant weaving of traditional Indian attire and regal jewellery.

The bright colours, the geometric prints, whacky head pieces and fitted skirts remained, but the inspiration and the results were different.


Image: Models present a creations by Manish Arora at Paris Fashion Week.
Photographs: Benoit Tessier / Reuters
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Manish Arora said his collection this time was inspired by a recent trip to the Burning Man festival in the American state of Nevada.

He told Reuters, 'The first thing when I came back that I remembered was the amazing blue sky with white clouds and the empty desert. And that's how I started the collection. And it went on into the evening and there were clouds with neon signs and then it went on to only the neon lights.'

The Burning Man is week-long art festival — in the Black Rock Desert — held every year when August turns to September.

The festival has its origin in a summer solstice ritual and takes its name from the burning of a large wooden effigy.

Arora's prints at the Paris Fashion Week reflected this.


Image: In Manish Arora's creations, the blue tones of the sky jostled for space with the bright hues that are his trademark.
Photographs: Benoit Tessier / Reuters
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Arora's prints went from the 'vast day landscape... moving to evening clouds mixed with neon motifs and a play of geometric lines with neon rays,' he was quoted as saying in a statement.


Image: There was a distinct feel of the desert landscape in the creations.
Photographs: Benoit Tessier / Reuters
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But Manish Arora didn't forget India in his designs.

He had borrowed heavily from his Indian heritage for his previous showing at the Paris Fashion Week.

And this year, he told AFP, 'I didn't want to forget that I'm Indian. I wanted to continue it (the Indian influence), but not so obviously, keeping the Indian touch in bits and pieces. Showing India in a cliched way is done already, (now) it's about doing leather turbans with accessories, that was the idea to combine old techniques with new futuristic designs.'


Image: Manish Arora's models wore black leather turbans as they walked the ramp to music played on Indian instruments.
Photographs: Benoit Tessier / Reuters
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Manish Arora added that he wanted the audience to remember his origins.

He told Reuters, 'Last season is when I started saying 'OK, it's time to say I'm Indian.' And I did a collection which was totally inspired by India. And I realized that I should keep on (with) that because earlier I was using India, but for let's say for its technical details like embroidery, etc. etc. But I thought now it's time to tell people visually that I'm Indian.'


Image: India has been a creative touchstone for its designers. In Manish Arora's Fall-Winter 2013-2014 collection is the presence of Indian-inspired sequin embroidery and beading.
Photographs: Benoit Tessier / Reuters
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The designer also paid homage to his homeland with the jewellery he presented in Paris. He collaborated with Amrapali Jewels once again.


Image: Every piece of gilded gold jewellery was eye catching.
Photographs: Benoit Tessier / Reuters
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But one has to give it to Manish Arora, while there is a comfort in some of his trademark strokes there is also the anticipation of a surprise.

He also moved to new categories — fur, leather, knitwear — and broke his own theme on the ramp with bursts of more sedate and urban looks.


Image: The trim skirts and tops were bright, urban and definite head turners.
Photographs: Benoit Tessier / Reuters
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The designer largely received kudos for his pret line.

One reviewer said, 'Manish Arora used to show at London Fashion Week, and looking at his show this season, it's a wonder he still doesn't. The heavy print-on-print emphasis, the cloudy skies and the bold use of colour had a lot in common with LFW's current darlings, Mary Katrantzou and Peter Pilotto (though Arora was doing bright catwalk prints when these guys were still doing their art foundation courses). The experimental prints scream 'London,' so perhaps that's why the riot of colour stood out so much among Paris's more subtle, soft collections.'


Image: Manish Arora set up his label in 1997 and is known for his bold use of colour.
Photographs: Benoit Tessier / Reuters
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But not everyone adored the sensory overload. 

Reviewers like Maya Singer appreciated parts of the collection, but wrote on Style.com, 'There was such a super-abundance of colours, prints, materials, embellishments, and themes at today's Manish Arora show, you sort of owed your eyes a break when it finished.

'How pleasing it would be, you thought, just to stare into the infinite blankness of a freshly painted white wall for a little while...At any rate, Arora does himself no favours by throwing so many ideas on the runway; the profusion makes it exceedingly difficult to extract key propositions, or standout looks.

'There were at least three collections jammed together here: One emphasizing splashy digital prints, another that hewed to the very Indian colours of pink and yellow and featured vaguely Deco black crystal embroidery, and then a natty group in textural navy and black that Arora had decorated with various kinds of jewel-like embellishment. In addition to that, there were a few ideas, distinct from the rest, that he seemed a bit less invested in, like the navy and green Lurex pieces or the velvet dresses heaving with chain... Arora has a lot to say, but this season the message kept getting lost in the mix.'


Image: A Manish Arora creation at the Paris Fashion Week.
Photographs: Benoit Tessier / Reuters
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From Paris, Manish Arora heads back to Delhi, where he will close the upcoming Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week, March 17. 


Image: Manish Arora acknowledges applauses after the presentation of his Ready-to-wear collection at the Paris Fashion Week, February 28, 2013.
Photographs: Benoit Tessier / Reuters
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