Manish Malhotra is a menswear and womenswear designer who has dabbled in a multitude of aspects of fashion over the course of his career, from designing for Bollywood stars to bridal wear to couture and even styling. Beginning in the industry as a model, he studied in Mubmai at Elphinstone College and first designed for actress Juhi Chawla in the hit film Swarg about twenty years ago (Malhotra, 2016). Since then, he has gone on to win the first Filmfare Costume Award for his work in Rangeela, and has become a name recognized in the fashion industry globally. In 1998, he launched his ‘Reverie—Manish Malhotra’ line, a high-profile couture store to break into mainstream and couture fashion. His first fashion show was held in 1999 (Malhotra, 2016).
While Malhotra is best known for his work in Bollywood and his designs for Indian celebrities such as Kajol, Karisma Kapoor, and Karina Kapoor, he has also showcased his designs more recently at The South-Africa Fashion Week and the Dubai Fashion Weeks. He launched a self-titled eveningwear couture label in 2004 (Manish Malhotra, n.d.) and has designed for brides and their grooms across the globe. Malhotra has also designed for Michael Jackson and styled celebrities such as Jean-Claude Van Damme, Reese Witherspoon, and Kylie Minogue (Malhotra, 2016). Over his 25-year career, Malhotra has designed for over 1,000 films and has received more than 35 awards.
Malhotra has taken much of his inspiration from 1960s and 1970s films according to Strand of Silk, and the colors he saw in his childhood influence many of his designs today (2014). He also utilizes crafts from across India in his work “to create styles that are classic yet modern” (Strand of Silk, 2014). Some of his unusual and innovative silhouettes he has included pull much of traditional Indian craftsmanship and culture, including the sari jacket, lehenga anarkali, long kurtas with palazzos (Strand of Silk, 2014).
What I have noted through this research is how Malhotra’s work preserves traditional Indian culture and craftsmanship while also bringing some older ideas, such as bright colors, into his new collections while adding a modern twist. This aspect of his design will especially enhance my personal experience when I take note on how locals dress, seeing his influence on how the new is combined with the old. I may even pull his idea of integration into my own designs. While his 2014 women’s collection “[comprised of] ‘a lot of sheer, lace, metallic, exquisite floral and unusual pastels,’” he is extremely happy that Indian men are beginning to embrace brighter colors, as they have been reflected in many of his collections (Strand of Silk, 2014). Manish Malhotra will continue to be an important aspect of Bollywood design and styling as well as bridal on a global scale.
Malhotra, M. (2016). About Manish Malhotra. Retrieved from http://www.manishmalhotra.in/about.html
Manish Malhotra (n.d.). In Facebook [Men’s clothing store in Mumbai, India]. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/mmalhotraworld/about/
Manish Malhotra (2016, December 22). In Wikipedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manish_Malhotra
Strand of Silk. (2014, March 4). Designer Manish Malhotra reveals importance of local craftsmanship, culture and modernity [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://strandofsilk.com/blog/manish-malhotra/news/designer-manish-malhotra-reveals-importance-local-craftsmanship-culture
Strand of Silk. (2014, July 11). Manish Malhotra bridging the gap between old and new world [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://strandofsilk.com/blog/manish-malhotra/news/manish-malhotra-bridging-gap-between-old-and-new-world