Fashion

Why Aishwarya Rai Bachchan continues to be Manish Malhotra's muse

She will be showstopper at the designer's Qatar show

Bollywood's favourite couturier Manish Malhotra is all set to showcase his first-ever fashion show in Doha, Qatar, as part of Fashion Weekend International on October 5, with the designer's long-time muse Aishwarya Rai Bachchan as the showstopper. This move follows a recently-concluded trunk show that the designer held in Hong Kong, and not to forget his showcase at Singapore where Kareena Kapoor Khan graced the runway. Needless to say, Manish is taking Indian fashion to an international level, one collection at a time.

In a tête-à-tête with ELLE, the designer tells us what to expect from the show, why he chose Aishwarya as his showstopper and leading bridal trends to keep in mind for this season.

ELLE: What it is about Indian fashion that appeals to the global modern woman? 

Manish Malhotra (MM): Across the world, the fashion world has always drawn inspiration from India’s rich cultural diversity and we only see it becoming more distinctive with time. No other country has our historic legacy of culture, artistic value, textiles and craftsmanship. Today’s women opt for outfits that match their individual personality and sensibility; it is less trend-based. Women want their ensembles to be as high on comfort as they are on style. And this very notion has expanded the appeal of Indian fashion. Our label is known for the modern fusion of silhouettes that has resulted in innovations such as the sari jacket, bardot blouses with voluminous skirts, embellished gowns with cinched waists, ruffled bouffant blouses, sheer corset choli paired with fitted lehenga, 3D embellished and fringe cape jackets, pre-stitched dupattas — bringing out the best of both worlds, along with comfort and versatility.

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A post shared by Manish Malhotra World (@mmalhotraworld) on Sep 5, 2018 at 9:00pm PDT

ELLE: Tell us about your upcoming festive collection to be showcased at Doha. What is the inspiration behind it?

(MM): My collection Zween is fun and vibrant, keeping in mind the upcoming season. It's inspired by the Middle East and its quintessential cultural nuances — everything from its sandy deserts, traditional architecture, cinema and history, to the contemporary glitz and glamour that the region represents. The ensembles are in a range of earthy tones such as rustic orange, sandy gold, olive green and ivory. We’ve also used soothing shades of lavender, flora that is native to the region, as well as tropical blue (a colour known to represent immortality and heaven in traditional spiritual beliefs). We've also used larger-than-life motifs of Pegasus, a winged stallion representative of ancient mythology, embroidered to create an exquisite 3D effect.

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A post shared by Manish Malhotra World (@mmalhotraworld) on Sep 3, 2018 at 8:42pm PDT

ELLE: What are the styles and the silhouettes we can expect?

(MM): The sand dunes and deserts of Arabia inspire the colour palette and various motifs embroidered on each ensemble. Mythical winged Arabian horses in 3D embellishments, vibrant tassels and feathers, swirls of sequins and Swarovski crystals, along with intricate floral threadwork embroidery come together to weave a sensuous tapestry of Arabian culture. Voluminous lehengas with bouffant blouses, kaftans with cigarette pants, saris with off-shoulder blouses and embellished gowns with cinched waists crafted in luxurious fabrics of silk, organza, velvet and net, translate sensuous, feminine styles for the millennial bride. The classic anarkali silhouette too, is given a modern spin with a contemporary corset bustier.

ELLE: How did you decide on Aishwarya Rai Bachchan as the showstopper for the event?

Manish Malhotra with Aishwarya Rai Bachchan

(MM): Aishwarya is not only a dear friend but has also been my muse for many years now. She embodies beauty, sensuality and glamour, and is a timeless epitome of grace and effortless style.

ELLE: What are some of the leading bridal wear trends this season?

(MM): This season, we have introduced draped dupattas with ruffled bouffant blouses; sheer corset cholis paired with fitted lehengas that have 3D embellishments. Capes and jackets are constructed in a kaftan style that are worn with belts. For western-style functions, embellished gowns with cinched waists are some of the key trends for millennial brides this season.              

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A post shared by Manish Malhotra World (@mmalhotraworld) on Sep 10, 2018 at 8:19am PDT       

ELLE: What should a millennial bride steer clear from on her wedding day?

(MM): Neo-brides these days like to enjoy their wedding as much as their guests — so go for elegant lehengas that are hassle-free. Her clothes should resonate with her, and enhance her natural personality. Rather than couture that is heavy in weight, brides should opt for designs that are versatile and can be worn again. Also, over-accessorising often tends to take away from the bride’s overall persona and needs to be in balance with the outfit and look for the event.