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Meet my favorite Indian designer

by Marlies Dekkers
Stars like Rihanna, M.I.A and Katy Perry go gaga for Manish Arora, and so do I! Meet the designer who has built a global following while staying unapologetically Indian.

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:

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