New Delhi based designer, Manish Arora loves giving his audience a taste of whimsy mixed with a dash of the surreal when he sends his creations down the runway. Although the Indian designer represented India in Hong Kong Fashion Week back in 2000 and participated in the first ever Indian Fashion Week that very same year, his "big" break didn't actually arrive until his debut show in 2005 at London Fashion Week. His critically acclaimed show set him apart from the rest, marking him as a designer to watch out for in the future.
Arora's aesthetic is a palimpsest; it reflects his many inspirations and cultural influences. His clothing is best described as kaleidescope fashion- strong, vibrant colors, bold patterns and prints mixed together with modernized silhouettes, rich textures and futuristic looks. Despite the cliché of East meets West, Arora's designs do a beautiful job in bringing together the genius of Indian textiles and bead work with Western silhouettes (à la JPG). However, he carefully avoids the dreaded "ethnic" label so commonly used on non-Western designers, which in turn has solidified his place as a bonafide innovator in the field of fashion. His unabashed and unapologetic pushing of the limitations and boundaries of fashion make him one of the more interesting taste-makers of our time.
Take a look at his most recent collection (Autumn/Winter 2008/2009) in the slideshow below, courtesy of fashionistas. Although many of the pieces are fantastical and, perhaps, unwearable, there is still something to be said for the workmanship present in each piece, and of course, their fantastical quality.