A change of heart at Manish Arora

The Manish Arora woman is all grown up. The kaleidoscopic disco queens of previous collections were but a distant thought this season - unfurling her wings this spring is a cosmopolitan jetsetter with just a touch of psychedelia.

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Manish Arora - Spring-Summer2018 - Womenswear - Paris - © PixelFormula

In his tenth anniversary year, India’s most internationally renowned designer has looked to new sources of inspiration - namely, close friend Lebanese jewellery designer Noor Fares, who accompanied the designer to Burning Man last year in an experience that seems to have left its mark.

The result was a romantic tweak on Arora’s familiarly colourful offering. For the ‘aristocratic bohemian,’ as the designer said in his show notes, it was a gauzy sweep of pastel sequinned gowns and sheer tulle with prints sojourning from the Aztec to the Arabic. Copious hearts were thrown in for good measure, a nod to the name of his first fragrance, ‘Ready to Love.’ The cutesy motif (and logo of the house) was dotted throughout, including via fluorescent pink appliqué on the models’ hands and faces. It appeared most compelling in the designer’s embroidered cut-outs, including the easy white lace gown that opened the show, which was just one of the surprisingly wearable pieces for next spring. Polished white cocktail gowns rubbed shoulders with silk wrap blazers, and denim jackets with sequinned hems dressed down rose-red eveningwear.

The mood was so relaxed it was almost horizontal, with literal pyjamas accessorised with  fur-trimmed mules, satiny sleepmasks and even miniature pillows. Just as well, if the Manish Arora woman can squeeze in her beauty sleep between voyages to far-flung locales that this season was clearly designed to conjure. But if there’s one key takeaway, it’s that she’s beset by wanderlust - and perhaps has her sights set on new horizons.

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