2006's most colourful newcomer," Manish Arora is the Bete Noir of Bollywood fashion. His label Manish Arora Fish Fry is a wildly wacky, recklessly riotous amalgamation inspired by meditating Sadhus, Indian posters, Mughal motifs, mythological icons, snowfall, Varanasi, London, Christmas, hearts, angels, forests, pearls, lotus, animals, mountains, Red Riding Hood… Like a paint factory exploded, Manish's daring designs were splashed across magazines and newspapers including American Vogue, HELLO, French Elle, Elle Décor Italy, Collezione Italy, Conde Nast Traveller, New York Times, Daily Telegraph, etc etc. with headlines, “Manish unleashed 'Bollywood' visions…” Awarded the “Most Creative Student” title at graduation and swiftly after the “Most Original Collection” at the Young Asian Designer's Competition” in Jakarta, Manish Arora declined an offer from the editor of French Vogue to join them as stylist to explore instead the potential of fashion in India. And an explosion of shapes, patterns, colours is what he came up with. Manish has since won Best Women's Prêt Designer at the first ever Indian Fashion Awards'2004 in Mumbai, Designer's Choice for Best Collection (Miami Fashion Week 2005) whilst Elle India declared him the best Indian designer. Following in his wake are young designers Falguni and Shane Peacock whose deliciously exotic East-West fusion clothing flash crystals, swarovskis, sequins, which the Japanese market – so far obsessed with European and American labels – believes will soon be the hottest fashion. Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Aki Narula, Gauri and Nainika, Rohit Bal, Hemant Trivedi, Neeta Lulla… the onslaught is endless. Terms like zardozi, badla, aari, and dabka have invaded western fashion vocabulary. Move over Mr Lagerfield. Every dog has his day. And fashion gurus predict an Indian summer on the international catwalks… ••• Devanshi Mody
All images Ian Gillett
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