Meet my favorite Indian designer
I first became aware of Manish Arora when Nicki Minaj showed up on the red carpet in one of his designs, looking like a candy-coloured Indian goddess from outer space. This was about five years ago, and I have been following the Indian designer’s wacky and wonderful collections since. I just love his signature look: a modern silhouette in iridescent colours sprinkled with mythological references. As Manish says about his international success: “I am where I am today because I took my culture with me.” The sympathetic designer is based in Paris, but he insists on working with a range of traditional Indian craft methods including embroidery, appliqué and beading. I found out that a jewel-encrusted skirt that I coveted had taken 5 women in India 20 days to make!
I think for his Spring Summer 2015 show he really outdid himself. As always, he used beautiful fluid lines and psychedelic colours, but this time, there were also Hindu Gods and Goddess galore, like images of a handsome Lord Shiva and a pastel-coloured three-eyed Kali sticking out her tongue. Perhaps a reference to Manish Arora-fan Miley Cyrus? Girlpower has many faces..
Enjoy some of my favorite looks of the show:
Happy Women’s Day
Happy Women’s Day! I am extra excited about this edition, because wow, what a year it’s been for feminism! This is the year that we went global; that we showed up with our money, our bodies, our time and our voices to show the world: this is OUR time!
When I think of someone who is the embodiment of the highest level of expression, I have to think of German opera superstar Nadja Michael (47). This fearless feminine feminist is absolutely unforgettable in roles like Medea, Salomé and Lady Macbeth, performing phenomenally not just as a singer, but also a dancer and actress. How does she do it?
She started out as a contestant on the Norwegian version of ‘So You Think You Can Dance’; a few years later her debut single ‘Sunrise’ reached triple platinum status. But what makes Norwegian/Cuban star Alexandra Joner (27) such a feminine feminist icon is the fearless fun with which she expresses herself; in her singing and acting, but also in her fabulously sexy looks (often wearing marlies|dekkers, of course!). “I am fighting to make ‘sexy’ a positive thing!”
LUST for LIGHT
With her stunning staged photographs, Dutch artist Marie Cécile Thijs (1965) connects the past with the present in an intensely poetic, painterly way. Originally a lawyer, she decided more than fifteen years ago to follow her love for the camera. In just a short period of time, Marie Cécile became an internationally acclaimed artist whose works are included in the collections of museums like the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam and the Museum of Photographic Arts San Diego. She has also presented her art at TEFAF (widely regarded as the world’s pre-eminent fair of art and antiques), Art Miami and Photo Shanghai. For her signature series ‘White Collar’, Marie Cécile photographed the only surviving 17th-century pleated ruff in the world, then digitally added it to her models for an almost surreal, mesmerizing result.