Kitschy, over the top, flamboyant – a multitude of adjectives have been used to describe Manish Arora, 47. But despite what the world dubs as ‘extravagant’, as far as Arora’s aesthetics go, it is business as usual for the man who has dressed the likes of Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez.
So when we ask him about his maximalist sensibilities, the designer replies candidly. “I have never felt the need to restrain myself. I live my life the way I want by my own rules. I think that really reflects in my work.”
It is this outpouring of unbridled expression that has allowed the now Paris-based couturier to transition between creating a working carousel dress (worn by Katy Perry for the MTV Music Awards in 2009) to designing limited-edition collections with Disney, SWATCH and even coffee makers, Nespresso. “I think I am fortunate to be in the field of designing. I do not think I would have had this level of freedom had I not chosen to be a designer.”
Expanding on this gamut of his ingenuity, once again, the eponymous label – Manish Arora Paris, recently launched a second collaboration with KOOVS, introducing unisex wear along with his womenswear line.
For the project, he looked to some of the archived pieces from the brand’s wardrobe for inspiration, like The Shiny Happy People Jacket – a heavily multi-coloured sequined piece, revived for the line.
“The underlying theme of the collection is in continuation to a 2018 collaboration, Love is love. It comes at a time when our country completes one year of the verdict regarding Section 377. Manish Arora x Koovs is about celebrating that.”
A hallmark of the collection, as is the Paris-based couturier signature, is the interesting take on prints and embellishments – the play on native American motifs, the Chinese emoticon Tuzki and label’s inclusion of embroidery, appliqué and beading.
“Manish Arora as a brand has always been about creating a unique visual identity. I think what sets me apart, is the fact that I am always ready to experiment and I’m quick to move from one idea to the other,” shares the designer talking about the collection that is an eclectic mix of dresses, skirts, denims, T-Shirts, and jackets; all featuring elements of the rainbow.
Arora feels gender-fluid clothes are the biggest trend this year. “Fashion is becoming unisex. Good design involves synergising your thoughts and keeping in mind the structure of the particular design, the dimensions and most importantly the customer.”
Fresh off the runway after participating in the Paris Fashion week, the designer is set to take some time off, before heading into his next collection or perhaps another collaboration.