When Less is More – Leisure News


To celebrate 15 years of his label, Manish Malhotra decided to create a collection that deviated from what he is best known for, glamour. “All the sequins and the glitter is in my design DNA, but I wanted to go into a world that I have always been interested in but never had the time to delve into,” says Malhotra. The sartorial ways of the Mughal and Persian dynasties served as inspiration for Malhotra’s collection ‘Ruhaaniyat’, which opened the first digital edition of the Lakme Fashion Week on October 21.

Malhotra began work in 2019, travelling to the Calico museum of Textiles in Ahmedabad and the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar, for research, apart from Udaipur, Jaipur and Delhi. The end result is an expansive range which he believes is befitting the current time. “I don’t want to do too much because the world has too much going on right now,” he says. Working with artisans from Uttar Pradesh, Kutch and Punjab, Malhotra was keen to emphasise the fact that “people will come and go but tradition and craftsmanship will remain”.

The designer took additional charge of being a filmmaker, putting together a short to introduce his outfits. “It satisfied the two loves of my life, clothes and films,” says Malhotra, who is popular for his work in Hindi films, from his debut Rangeela to the more recent Kalank. “I love the drama of fashion shows but film is such a different narrative and I have always wanted to direct.”

The year 2020 also marks three decades in film costume designing for the 53-year-old Malhotra, and he continues to be the collaborator of choice for the younger generation of actresses. Malhotra’s upcoming slate includes Atrangi Re with Sara Ali Khan, a film with Alia Bhatt, and Rohit Shetty’s next, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Comedy of errors.

With the film industry gradually reopening, the fashion industry feels the pinch of the pandemic, with the big fat wedding season cut short. Malhotra says that the response in Delhi, where he opened his store in late May, has been far better than in Mumbai and Hyderabad which have seen comparatively slower demand for his bridal wear. “When you do less, you have to do it even better,” he says. “It’s quality over quantity now. Technology and sustainability have to go in tandem.”

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