A veil dividing the ramp and setting the tone of intrigue. Strips of white cloth hanging down from the ceiling of Mumbai’s Famous Studios, swaying gently, adding to the mood of mystique. A mellow fluorescent radiance lighting it up warm. An elegant drama ready to be unfolded.
Not before Manish Malhotra had hugged his friends to their front-row seats. Ishaan Khatter, Khushi Kapoor, Athiya Shetty, Pooja Hegde, Mrunal Thakur, Karan Johar, Sophie Choudry, Karisma Kapoor, Amrita Arora, Dia Mirza, Chitrangda Singh.... Director Punit Malhotra pitched in as the perfect host with uncle Manish.
Famous Studios plunged into semi-darkness as Chhap tilak rippled through the hush at 10.06pm. The veil lit up with the intricacies of the lovely chandelier swirling on the canvas. And, then it lifted. Clusters of models nestled in whites and pastels. They began their dreamy walk. With long trains. Flowy and breezy. A certain romance. The men walked in crisp kurtas.
More men strutted in. This time to boom beats. Tall and dapper in dark hues; in jackets and bandhgalas. Asymmetry and animal motifs were edgy masculine.
Sexy sparkle waltzed in too. In cocktail saris. In shimmery lehngas. Soft metallics were followed by luscious velvets dusted with glitter. Plunging necklines, the play of sheer and drama on the sleeves added to the glamour.
Wavy-tousled hair, kohl-lined eyes, an intricately embroidered lehnga, a slinky choli with dramatic sleeves... that was a bewitching Katrina Kaif, a fitting endnote to Manish’s Maahrumysha.
Ae ri sakhi more piya ghar aaye....
Maahrumysha is all about celebrating love. It’s all about celebrating beauty — Manish Malhotra
On Tuesday, Manish Malhotra’s work day started at 6.30am. And, when we met him a little before 11pm at Mumbai’s Famous Studios, Mahalaxmi, where he had just unveiled Maahrumysha, his luxury festive edit, presented by Love & Care, he was bustling with energy. He was itching to meet his friends for dinner. From the frenzy of a show day that he enjoys to the cosy camaraderie of warm intimacy. Warm. That is the operative word. Warm. That is Manish Malhotra.
What does Maahrumysha mean?
It is more about celebration. It’s all about celebrating love. It’s all about celebrating beauty. We thought and thought about the name. I wanted a word which is all about beauty and which was a little tongue-twister, which was a little more interesting and you want to know what it means. That’s how the name came up.
The collection packed in so much...
It was a vividly vast collection. It’s about cottons, wool, silk.... Putting all of that together took a lot of time, heartache and a lot of stress, but I think I enjoy it.
Indian aesthetics but a modern rendition...
The idea was to keep revisiting your Indian silhouettes and redoing things. You are torn between what people expect out of you. You have large stores. The consumers want things and what innovation you are going to do in the genre of what you do and your belief. It’s a see-saw kind of a thing, but you have to do what you have to do.
Tell us about the music...
I love working on music. I love shows. I love creating it and I love designing it.
The collection’s origin is Indian. My label is about Indian clothes but with a bit of global twist, a bit more modern twist. For the show, to put it all together, I wanted to go back to the essence of it all, which is Indian. I didn’t want to have contemporary music.
So, I had a gown with an Abida Parveen. I thought that was interesting, at least for me.